Queenland's Craig Jones takes early lead at New Zealand Open

BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2003 New Zealand Open | Round One | 16 Jan 2003
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1994 New Zealand Open winner Craig Jones has fired an early opening round of -6 (66) to take the clubhouse lead by a stroke from fellow Queenslander Chris Downes early on day one of the NZD$700,000 Holden New Zealand Open in Auckland.

Jones, who finished 23rd on the 2002 Australasian Order of Merit, fired eight birdies on his way to a 66 and, incredibly, his round also included a double bogey at the par-four 14th, the only blemish on what was a great opening round.

New Zealand amateur Brad Heaven looked set to capture the early lead with five birdies across the front nine holes, however, a double bogey at the 7th hole forced him back to -4 and in equal 3rd.

Australasian PGA Tour chairman, Wayne Grady has continued his return to tournament golf with a solid opening round of 68 to close the day at -4 and equal 3rd place midday through the first round. Kiwis Eddie Lee and Carl Brooking along with West Australian star Brett Rumford joined Grady at -4 (68)

New Zealand’s number one ranked golfer and a champion here in 2000; Michael Campbell posted a -3 (69) to capture an early share of 8th place alongside Mahal Pearce and Gareth Paddison.

Kiwi and US PGA Tour regular Phil Tataurangi has closed his first round at -1 (71) following an eagle at the par 5 17th hole and a bogey at the final hole. Tataurangi won his first US PGA title last year at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas.

Four-time New Zealand Open champion, Sir Bob Charles, has withdrawn from the tournament following the reoccurrence of his ?tennis elbow?. After playing earlier in the week, Charles said that the discomfort had meant he was now unable to grip the club with his right hand or rotate his right arm.

Top Finished Rounds – Midday Day One
1 -6 Craig Jones (66)

2 -5 Chris Downes (67)

T3 -4 Brad Heaven (Am) (68)
T3 -4 Brett Rumford (68)
T3 -4 Carl Brooking (68)
T3 -4 Eddie Lee (68)
T3 -4 Wayne Grady (68)

T8 -3 Gareth Paddison (69)
T8 -3 Ian Walker (69)
T8 -3 Mahal Pearce (69)
T8 -3 Michael Campbell (69)

T12 -2 Craig Lee (70)
T12 -2 David Bransdon (70)
T12 -2 Leigh McKechnie (70)
T12 -2 Marcus Fraser (70)
T12 -2 Matthew Lane (70)
T12 -2 Tony Carolan (70)

T22 -1 Andre Stolz (71)
T22 -1 Imai La Bomba (71)
T22 -1 Justin Cooper (71)
T22 -1 Mark Smith (Am) (71)
T22 -1 Phil Tataurangi (71)

T39 Even Ben Gallie (72)
T39 Even Brent McEwan (Am) (72)
T39 Even Gary Simpson (72)
T39 Even Martin Doyle (72)
T39 Even Michael Pearson (72)2
T39 Even Peter Fowler (72)

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