Pavin is kept in Faldo's sights

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The Independent Online
Golf

Nick Faldo began the new PGA campaign with a two-under par 70 to be three shots off the lead after the first round of the season's opening event, the Mercedes Championship in Carlsbad, California.

The British former world No 1 and Australia's defending champion, Steve Elkington, were the leading non-Americans in a field led by the US Open champion, Corey Pavin.

Pavin, in his first competitive round since winning the Million Dollar Challenge in South Africa last month, brought his form back across the Atlantic to card a flawless five-under-par 67. He led by one over Mark O'Meara, while the Masters champion Ben Crenshaw was tied two shots behind and one ahead of a clutch of five players including Faldo and Elkington.

"What a great way to start the year," Pavin said. "It's quite a surprise because I hadn't played in quite a while."

Propping up the field was the Open champion, John Daly - who finished a distant last at the Johnnie Walker World Championship in Jamaica last month - tied for last on a four-over 76.

n The Scots Kenny Walker and David Thomson shot 75 and 77 respectively to be on 155 and 156 after two rounds of the first professional tournament in Burma - the Omega Tour's Myanmar PGA Championship in Rangoon. Thailand's Boonchu Ruangkit led on 140.

MERCEDES CHAMPIONSHIP (Carlsbad, Calif) Leading first-round scores (US unless stated): 67 C Pavin. 68 M O'Meara. 69 D Weibring, S Hoch, B Crenshaw. 70 B Bryant, F Funk, N Faldo (GB), K Perry, S Elkington (Aus). 71 D Waldorf, W Austin, T Tryba, T Lehman, J Gallagher, B Tway, L Janzen, L Roberts. 72 D Love. 73 B Mayfair, G Norman (Aus), M Calcavecchia, V Singh (Fiji). 74 J Furyk, E Dougherty, P Stewart, P Mickelson, J Morse. 76 H Sutton, J Daly.

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