|Poulter, Laird share Players lead|
12 May 2012
PONTE VEDRA BEACH - Ian Poulter and Martin Laird shared the first-round lead at the US PGA Tour’s $9.5 million Players Championship Thursday on seven-under par 65. England’s Poulter put together four birdies in a row around the turn, finishing the day with eight birdies and one bogey, while Scotland’s Laird birdied his final hole of an error-free round to join Poulter atop the leaderboard.
They were one stroke in front of American Blake Adams, who posted a 66 at TPC Sawgrass. Kevin Na and Ben Crane were at five-under 67. Tiger Woods, who missed the cut at Quail Hollow last week, was conspicuously absent from the leaderboard, firing a first-round 74. “I didn’t get a lot out of that round,” Woods said. “It should have been probably one or two-under par. I just didn’t score.”
That certainly wasn’t a problem for Poulter, who birdied all of the par-5 holes and called his round “definitely probably in the top 10 rounds of golf I have ever played.”
“From nine, I had nine single putts,” Poulter noted. “I didn’t realize until someone just told me. All of those were decent chances, putts you would expect to hole. There are a number of shots around this golf course which I get a good visual on and I guess it kind of focuses my mind, which is always good,” he added. Laird teed off on 10 and birdied 11 and 12. He made a brace of birdie putts from inside 10 feet at 16 and 17 to make the turn at four-under.
At the par-5 second, Laird rolled in a 16-footer for birdie. He drove into a bunker at the fifth, but got up and down for birdie to get within one shot of Poulter. He joined Poulter at seven-under at the par-5 ninth, where he missed the green with his second shot, but pitched on to within six feet and made the putt.
“To go bogey-free around here is extremely satisfying,” said Laird, who was the only player to do so on Thursday. Poulter, whose lone US victory came in the 2010 World Golf Championships Match Play Championship, was third at Bay Hill in March and seventh at the Masters last month, after which he played in China and South Korea.
After birdies on the par-5 second and par-4 fourth, Poulter took his lone bogey of the day at the seventh. He answered by running off four birdies in a row starting at the par-5 ninth. “I played really solid today and holed the right putts at the right times,” Poulter said. “I feel like I’m back to normal and I feel like I’m out there playing the golf I feel I should be playing.”
Among those tied on four-under 68 were Australian Adam Scott and Americans Bill Haas and Ben Curtis. World number one Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald — who has been exchanging the top ranking with McIlroy for the past two months — both opened with even par 72s.
|See Also in Sports News|
|Bowlers failed to create pressure, says Misbah|
10 March 2014
MIRPUR: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq blamed his bowlers for the team losing the Asia Cup crown to Sri Lanka, stating that they failed to create pressure on the opposition. "We need early wickets in such matches but we could not get them. Saeed (Ajmal) gave us good breakthroughs. In bowling also you need partnerships, but at the other end he did not get the support. No bowler could create any pressure and it became easy for Sri Lanka to chase down the target," Misbah told reporters after the ... Full Story
|Rousing welcome for losing finalists|
10 March 2014
KARACHI: Pakistan may have failed to retain their Asia Cup title but the men in green have won the hearts of millions of fans across the country. A rapturous welcome was given to a group of players and team officials on their return from Bangladesh at Karachi’s Jinnah Terminal Airport on Sunday.
The group included four Karachi-bound players – Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Anwar Ali and Sharjeel Khan along with head coach Moin Khan, chief consultant Zaheer Abbas and fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad. ... Full Story
|First Aus-SA T20 abandoned due to rain|
10 March 2014
PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa and Australia will have to settle for a two-match Twenty20 series after the first game in Port Elizabeth was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Persistent rain in Port Elizabeth meant that no play was possible in the first T20, and the teams will now head to Durban for Wednesday's second match, followed by the third game in Centurion. The rain was mostly unrelenting in Port Elizabeth and although there were brief periods when the covers appeared set to come off, ... Full Story