US open: Haas, Maruyama lead

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

Jay Haas, Shigeki Maruyama and Angel Cabrera led the US Open on Thursday as bad light halted play.

US open: Haas, Maruyama lead

Southampton, New York: After a few days of practice, the world's best golfers at Shinnecock Hills teed it up for the first round of the US Open. World number one Tiger Woods played a bunker shot on the 6th hole, to within centimetres of the cup. Ernie Els recovered from a terrible start, the 34-year-old South African double-bogied the 11th, his second, and then bogeyed the 12th to be three-over after three. But he fought his way back to level par to be just four off the early lead. England's six-time major winner Nick Faldo carded an 11-over-par 81, which was his worst round, by two shots, in 18 US Opens dating back to his debut in 1984 and came a week after he topped a qualifying competition for the event. Early leadsAmerican veteran Jay Haas sank a birdie putt on the 11th that took him to 3-under par and gave him a share of the early lead. Former world number one ranked golfer, David Duval had a poor opening round. The 32-year-old American only decided to take up his place in the Shinnecock Hills field on Saturday after sitting out the last seven months of competitive golf. He collapsed to a 13-over-par 83 and last place. Japan's Shigeki Maruyama displayed some fine shot making. His tee shot on the 11th hole came to a stop just centimetres from the cup. That set up a birdie attempt. Woods had another bad day off the tee. The world number one hit only five of 14 fairways on his way to a two-over 72 and joint 42nd place. Opening roundsMaruyama had a fine opening round. He found nine of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in an error-free round of four-under 66 and a share of the lead. The 50-year-old Haas, who is bidding to become the oldest winner of a major championship, took full advantage of surprisingly calm morning conditions, mixing five birdies with a solitary bogey at the par-three second on his way to a four-under-par 66. Corey Pavin, the winner the last time the US Open was played at Shinnecock Hills in 1995, was in a bunch on one-under after 13 holes. One of the best bunker shots of the day was played by Fred Funk. He was in a bunker 274 centimetres deep, yet managed to hole out his bunker shot on the 11th hole to get to 2-under par. He ended level after a 70. Bad weather halts playLate in the afternoon, fog and rain halted play. Spencer Levin, a 20-year-old amateur, made light of the two hour weather delay to fire a hole-in-one with his first shot after the restart. Levin's eight-iron ace came at the 179-yard 17th and took him to one under. It was the 35th hole-in-one in US Open history and the first since Scott Hoch, Shigeki Maruyama and Andy Miller all aced in 2002. (AP)

Topics : Golf
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