Matthew Griffin leads Australian Open
SYDNEY -- Matthew Griffin shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open at The Lakes.
Griffin, whose longtime caddie, Peter Beck, died suddenly about a month ago, had seven birdies on some forgiving greens after a large amount of rain fell on the course the previous day.
Daly said the course, which had undergone a number of changes -- trees removed for a more exposed front nine, and more undulations on the greens -- played well.
"The course is in great shape," Daly said. "The fairways are perfect, it didn't even look like it rained. It's a tribute to how they redid the irrigation here.
"I don't have mud on my shoes or anything," he said. "That's pretty impressive after all the rain we've had."
Norman set up a birdie at the par-5 14th hole from an unlikely position. From out of the sand and with an awkward stance, Norman hit a rescue club about 200 yards over the water and two-putted for birdie, drawing applause from playing partner and 2011 Presidents Cup rival captain Fred Couples, who shot a 72.
But Norman had a double-bogey 7 at the eighth, his 17th hole of the day.
Griffin had no such problem.
"Almost the most pleasing thing is not having any bogeys," Griffin said. "Standing over the little three-footer at the last, I was really feeling it.
But, "You've got to take advantage of the nice conditions in the morning."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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