Watson up by 2 in opener
Associated Press
Saturday, January 23, 2010

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii --- Tom Watson shot a bogey-free 9-under-par 63 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over senior newcomer Fred Couples and Tom Lehman in the Champions Tour's season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

The 60-year-old Watson, coming off a win with Jack Nicklaus in the Champions Skins at Kaanapali, attacked the pins and was near-flawless with his putter.

Watson chipped in for eagle from 25 feet on the 526-yard fourth hole. He added seven birdies, five on the back nine.

Couples made his first official Champions Tour start, along with Corey Pavin (67). They each received sponsor exemptions, making them the first players to make their tour debuts at the winners-only event.

Lehman overcame a triple bogey on the par-3 fifth hole. He had an eagle and eight birdies.

Former Augusta resident Allen Doyle opened with 68 and is five back.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Rick Kulacz, of Australia, shot 9-under-par 63 for a one-shot lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship after two rounds.

Sergio Garcia shot 67 and was tied for second with Shane Lowry (65) and Peter Hanson (67) at 11- under.

Kulacz had 11 birdies and two bogeys and fell one shot short of equaling the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course record set by the Henrik Stenson four years ago.

Garcia had six birdies and one bogey despite a sore right hand.

Francesco Molinari had a hole-in-one at the 174-yard fourth hole with a 7-iron.

Former Augusta State golfer Oliver Wilson rebounded from an opening 75 to shoot 69 but still missed the cut.

AUSTRALASIAN TOUR: In Christchurch, New Zealand, Australian Ashley Hall defied freezing winds and rain to shoot 3-under-par 69 and lead the New Zealand PGA Golf tournament by three strokes after two rounds.

Hall is at 7-under 137.

From the Saturday, January 23, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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