AVONDALE, La. — Matt Jones chipped in from 57 feet on his final hole for a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead with Bubba Watson on Thursday in the Zurich Classic.
Watson, the winner at Torrey Pines in late January, two-putted from 32 feet for eagle on the par-5 11th and had six birdies and two bogeys at TPC Louisiana.
Jones had eight birdies and two bogeys. Playing the back nine first, the Australian reeled off four consecutive birdies beginning at the par-4 16th. He followed with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th, an 11-footer on the 18th and a 20-foot putt on the first.
Watson and Jones played in the afternoon in better scoring conditions after a strong north wind made morning play more difficult.
Joe Durant, Tommy Gainey, Carl Pettersson, John Rollins, Nick O’Hern and David Duval opened with 67s.
Luke Donald, a playoff loser last week at Hilton Head in a failed bid to jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world, shot a 68 to match Matt Bettencourt, Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Charles Howell and 2002 winner K.J. Choi. Hilton Head winner Brandt Snedeker opened with a 77.
Park, Kim share LPGA lead
MOBILE, Ala. — Grace Park and Song-Hee Kim shot 5-under 67s in windy conditions to share the first-round lead in the Avnet LPGA Classic, the tour’s only event in a six-week stretch.
Park eagled the par-5 13th and had had five birdies and two bogeys on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex. She won the last of her six LPGA Tour titles in 2004.
Park missed the pro-am Wednesday to rest her surgically repaired back. She has failed to make the cut in her three previous LPGA Tour starts this season.
Stacy Lewis, the Kraft Nabisco winner three weeks ago, was a stroke back at 68 along with Karen Stupples.
Defending champion Se Ri Pak shot a 69 to match Na Yeon Choi and Angela Oh. Pak also won the Tournament of Champions on the course in 2001 and 2002.
Michelle Wie opened with a 76. Top-ranked Yani Tseng also struggled, shooting a 77.
McGrane leads Ballantine’s
SEOUL, South Korea — Top-ranked Lee Westwood made a double bogey on his final hole in the first round of the Ballantine’s Championship to fall six shots behind leader Damien McGrane.
Westwood, the Englsish star coming off a Sunday in the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters that moved him from No. 2 to No. 1 in the world, had an even-par 72 on the Blackstone course.
McGrane, from Ireland, opened with a 66 for a one-stroke lead over Richard Finch, Sang-hyun Park and Felipe Aguilar. American Dustin Johnson had a 70. Ernie Els shot a 73, Ian Poulter had a 74, and South Korean star Y.E. Yang shot a 76 in event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.