3 Dec 2010

Griffin the surprise Open leader

7:20 am on 3 December 2010

The Victorian golfer Matthew Griffin fired a bogey-free seven-under par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Australian Open in Sydney.

Michael Campbell and Michael Long are the best placed New Zealanders on 71, one ahead of Mahal Pearce and Gareth Padison.

John Senden, the 2006 Open champion, was one of the few players to card a low score in the tougher afternoon conditions, firing a six-under par 66 to lie outright second, while Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling, Peter Senior and Geoff Ogilvy are all well-placed at four-under.

The colourful American John Daly (69) managed one of his better rounds in Australia to be well in the hunt to break his seven-year title drought.

The defending champion Adam Scott and five-time winner Greg Norman both had tough days, however, battling to rounds of 75 and 74 respectively.