Spain's Sergio Garcia has grabbed the lead in the first round of the British Open Golf Tournament being played at Carnoustie, Scotland.
Garcia, who has never won a major tournament, shot a six-under-par 65 and is two shots ahead of Ireland's Paul McGinley who fired a four-under-par 67 on Thursday. Garcia used a stretch of four birdies in five holes, midway thru his round, to take the lead away from McGinley who had been on top of the tournament most of the day. Garcia was in contention at last year's British Open until the final day when a 73 dropped him into a tie for fifth place.
There was a five way tie for third place Thursday at three-under-par 68. That group includes Michael Campbell of New Zealand, Markus Brier of Austria, U-S Open Champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina, Boo Weekly of the United States and 18 year old Northern Ireland amateur Rory MciLroy. MciLroy had the only bogie-free round of the day.
Defending champion Tiger Woods of the United States is in fourth place after finishing with a two-under-par 69. Woods started out hot getting an eagle on the sixth hole but cooled off on the back nine holes. Tied with Woods in fourth are Korean KJ Choi, American Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain.
American John Daly, the 1995 British Open Champion, briefly took the lead Thursday when he went to five-under-par after holing out a short wedge shot for an eagle on the 11th hole. But Daly then went double-bogey on the 12th hole and triple bogey on the 14th hole to drop from contention and finshed the day with a three-over-par 74.
Tiger Woods benefitted from a nice drop on the tenth hole. After an errant shot, Wood's ball landed among television cables. But he was told by tournament officials he could drop the ball away from the rough without penalty. After taking the drop, Wood's ball was in a much more favorable position, and he managed to make par on the hole.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.