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Archive for Friday, November 5, 2004

Three tied for Tour lead

Clarke, Kelly, Haas fire first-round 67s

November 5, 2004

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— Not everyone wants to see Vijay Singh wins his 10th tournament of the year. Three guys who shared the lead Thursday in the Tour Championship would be thrilled to win their first.

Darren Clarke, Jerry Kelly and 50-year-old Jay Haas each had a 3-under 67 on a soggy, blustery and entertaining first round at East Lake, a good start as they try to end their seasons on a good note.

"I've had a very poor year," Clarke said. "We all play to win, and I haven't managed to do that this year so far."

Singh has won nine times, and he put himself in position to become the first player since 1950 to reach double digits. Despite going 16 holes without a birdie, the Big Fijian recovered from enough missed shots for a 69.

"It was a day where you just have to manage yourself, get around, not get too far from the lead," Singh said.

And for those who wondered how marriage would change Tiger Woods? He still can't hit a fairway. In his first tournament since getting married, Woods struggled off the tee and out of the rough, finishing with a 72.

Entertainment came from Ernie Els, who broke his putter while slamming an 8-iron into his bag and finished the round putting with his sand wedge. He also had a 72.

"I wasn't making putts. I figured I might as well use the sand wedge," Els said. "That didn't work, either."

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