Australia's Porter leads Moonah Classic by one shot

Updated: February 21, 2008, 9:06 AM ET
Associated Press

FINGAL, Australia -- Australia's Ewan Porter shot a 5-under-par 67 on a wind-swept course Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over American Fran Quinn at the Moonah Classic.

Fabian Gomez of Argentina and American Chris Kirk were tied for third after 69s in the joint Nationwide-Australasian PGA tour event.

Americans Matthew Every and Tee McCabe, and Australian Paul Sheehan were among a group of seven tied for fifth with 70s, many of them with early-morning starts when the wind was blowing its hardest on the Peter Thomson-designed Moonah Links course on the Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne.

Only 20 golfers in the 156-man field broke par.

McCabe had to overcome an unusual problem -- he forgot to bring his yardage book to the course and had to rush back to his hotel to retrieve it. He then found himself without it again when he arrived at the first tee -- it apparently dropped out of his pocket.

He found one in meters instead of yards and his Australian caddie translated the distances.

Sheehan, a four-time winner on the Japanese tour, said he enjoyed his reunion with the bunker-filled links layout that hosted the Australian Open in 2003 and 2005.

"It was pretty blowy out there," said Sheehan, who was runner-up in the Open in 2005. "We had a chance to make some birdies, but I didn't make most of them. I made a couple early and then it got pretty tough."

American Darron Stiles, who won last week's rain-shortened 36-hole New Zealand PGA at Christchurch, also a joint Nationwide event, opened with a 72 Thursday.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press