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Golf: Els Leads Heineken Classic - 2002-01-31

South Africa's Ernie Els has a two stroke overnight lead after day one of the Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne.

Els sprinted to the lead after shooting a first round 8-under-par, 64 on this tough but scenic championship course. The world number four says the freshly sown greens were perfect for his game. " It's a nice start you know," he said. "It was what I was looking for. I was looking for a good round today. I made a lot of puts today, nine birdies and one bogey".

Welshman, Mark Pilkington is two shots from Els at six under, then four players are a stroke further back, including Australians Peter Lonard and the young gun, Adam Scott.

The defending champion, Michael Campbell is among seven players on four under. Douglas Labelle is the best of the Americans, finishing at two under. The big hitting John Daly is at one under.