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Aussie trio on the pace at US PGA
By Ben Everill
11:20 AEST Fri Aug 10 2012

Adam Scott showed no signs of a British Open hangover as he and fellow Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley made impressive starts to the US PGA Championship.

The trio shot four-under par 68s on the opening day to be tied for sixth, two strokes adrift of Sweden's Carl Pettersson who leads after firing a 66 at Kiawah Island Golf Club in South Carolina.

Pettersson's countryman Alex Noren, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, American Gary Woodland and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez Castano all posted 67s to be equal second.

The leading Australians are in a logjam of eight players at four-under including former major champions Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley and surprise packet John Daly.

Scott's British Open meltdown, where he squandered a four-shot lead with four holes to play to lose by one stroke to Ernie Els, appeared to be the last thing on the Queenslander's mind on Thursday.

He shot out of the blocks in the afternoon groups with back-to-back birdies thanks to crisp wedge shots to close range.

He struggled from the sand on the fourth for a bogey but then steadied to grab birdies on the remaining three par-fives and dismiss thoughts his mental state had suffered since his capitulation at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.

"I think it was a pretty good round of golf," Scott said.

"I wasn't feeling 100 per cent with it all out there, but I controlled my game nicely, managed it well.

"My short game was sharp when it needed to be, which is going to be important, because it's just a hard golf course and you're not going to hit every green."

For Baddeley and Ogilvy it equalled their best-ever starts to a major championship.

Baddeley previously shot a 68 in the opening round of the 2008 Masters while Ogilvy posted that number in the 2004 PGA Championship.

Both men were bogey-free and have put themselves in a great position to contend for Australia's first major in over six years.

Ogilvy began on the more difficult back nine and started his round in tremendous fashion by rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 10th green.

He gained another shot on the 15th when a 30-foot bomb dropped in the cup to make the turn in two-under.

Playing perfect strategic golf, the Victorian then birdied both par fives on the front side, the first could've easily been an eagle but his 10-foot attempt burned the edge.

Baddeley made one putt from 20-feet for birdie but his remaining three glory moments came from precision wedge and iron shots to close range.

Tiger Woods opened with a credible three-under 69, good enough to be tied for 14th and well within striking distance to claim a 15th major championship.

West Australian Greg Chalmers fired a 70 after earlier being the sole leader when he strung together four straight birdies from the second through the fifth holes.

Jason Day (72), John Senden (73), Marc Leishman (74), Marcus Fraser (74), Robert Allenby (75) and Brendan Jones (76) completed the Australian contingent.


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