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Archive for Friday, January 16, 2009

Woodland three strokes back

Former KU golfer finishes with a 2-under par 68 in first round

Gary Woodland birdied his first hole at the Sony Open.

January 16, 2009

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Gary Woodland's first shot as a PGA tour professional came to rest in the right rough, 333 yards from the tee on the 351-yard, par-4 No. 10 hole at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. He got up and down from there to start his career under par.

The longest hitter in the history of the Kansas University golf team, Woodland finished with a 2-under par 68 in Thursday's first round of the Sony Open.

He is tied for 13th, three strokes behind leader Shigeki Maruyama heading into today’s second round.

Woodland book-ended his round with birdies, hitting a 41⁄2- foot putt for a birdie 4 on No. 9. He hit a 339-yard drive to the left rough on that hole. For the round, he averaged 1.857 putts on the 14 greens he reached in regulation.

He is tied with 10 golfers, including Paul Azinger, K.J. Choi and Rory Sabbatini at 2-under.

Fellow rookie Webb Simpson, who tees off with Woodland and John Lepak at 1 p.m. Hawaii time (5 p.m. Central), is among five golfers tied for second, one stroke behind Maruyama.

Woodland, 24, finished with five birdies and three bogeys on a windy day and carded a better score than big golf names such as Adam Scott, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Bubba Watson, Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els and J.B. Holmes.

The Golf Channel (Sunflower Broadband Channel 156) begins its second-round Sony Open coverage today at 5:30 p.m. Central. The players’ shot-by-shot results can be tracked at pgatour.com.

The Sony Open winner earns $972,000 of the $5.4 million purse.

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