Howell grabs lead midway through day one

BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2002 Australian Open | Round One | 22 Nov 2002
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American Charles Howell has moved into the early outright lead midway through the restart of round one of the 2002 Holden Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne. Howell fired six birdies and a bogey on his way to a -5 (65).

22-year-old Queenslander Chris Downes, who carded a 3 in yesterday’s trying conditions, began his round superbly with three birdies in the first four holes and then went on to collect several more at the 9th, 10th and 12th holes. He gave a stroke back on the 11th and 15th to close with a -4 (66) and equal 2nd place.

Craig Parry overcame a bogey on the 1st and 16th hole and fired six birdies to close with a -4 (66) and a share of second place alongside Downes.

Stuart Appleby, Adam Crawford and Wayne Grady posted 67 each to sit in a four-way tie at -3 along with Swede Jens Nilsson, who was one of only a few players to go below par in yesterday’s aborted first round.

Former Australian Open champion Aaron Baddeley is at 1 through 17 holes and is just outside the Top 40. Baddeley came into the tournament this week with the knowledge that he achieved his goal this year to gain his 2003 PGA Tour card after several strong finishes on the Buy.com Tour.

Greg Turner, Peter Lonard, Scott Laycock, Michael Long and Steve Alker all finished at -1 and currently sit in equal 11th.

The tournament has been reduced to a 54-hole format with the second round taking place on Saturday and the third and final round on Sunday. The weather bureau has forecast temperatures in the early 30’s for Sunday, which will mean officials will need to keep a close eye on proceedings across the weekend.

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