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Thursday, October 28, 1999 Published at 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK

Goosen heads stunned field

At one point Goosen believed a 60 was on the cards

South African Retief Goosen made an astonishing eight birdies and an eagle as he leapt to the top of the leaderboard on the first day of the 1m Volvo Masters in Spain.

All 66 golfers wore back ribbons in memory of the late Payne Stewart, who died when his private jet crashed in South Dakota.

The players are planning an informal memorial service around the the 18th green on Friday.

[ image: Flowers were laid at Stewart's reserved car-park space in Houston, Dallas]
Flowers were laid at Stewart's reserved car-park space in Houston, Dallas
Goosen's ten-under par 62 equalled the lowest round if his career smashed the course record at the Montecastillo course in Spain.

But the score will not enter the record books because the wet fairways meant players were allowed to clean and place the ball before every shot.

Meanwhile England's Lee Westwood, who finished ten shots behind Goosen, faces a fine after losing his temper in a disagreement with an offical over a ruling at the par five 12th.

The world number five took seven after hitting his second shot into the edge of bushes by the green.

He asked offical Tony Grant if he could drop away from some grass cuttings just in front of the ball.

Cutting retort

He was told he could not, but after taking a hack at the ball and hitting it only a few inches into the cuttings Grant informed him that he was entitled to clear them out of the way.

"I told him that I didn't think I needed his assistance any further," commented Westwood after the round, as the European Tour's director of tour operations David Garland was informed of the incident.

If Westwood swore at Grant he could be fined between 100 and 2,000.

Wales' Phillip Price opened with a 65 on the Montecastillo course, and Germany's Bernhard Langer and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn topped a six-player group at 66.

Cash scramble

Spanish teen star Sergio Garcia shot a 69, and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, seeking his seventh straight European money title, had a 70.

With two events left, Montgomerie leads England's Lee Westwood by almost 430,000 pounds and Garcia by 436,000 pounds.

Goosen is fourth on the money list and is convinced he can still beat Montgomerie to the title.

"If I win here and next week (at the $5m American Express Championship in Valderrama) and Monty does not finish second twice I can catch him. It can be done.

"It's up to us to catch him, otherwise with just two good finishes he'll walk away with the money title again."

First round scores at the Volvo Masters at the Montecastillo course near Jerez in Spain. Par 72
62 - Retief Goosen (Rsa)
65 - Phillip Price
66 - Steve Webster, Jamie Spence, Russell Claydon, Thomas Bjorn (Den), Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer (Ger)
67 - Jean Francois Remesy (Fra), Costantino Rocca (Ita), Nico Van Rensburg (Rsa), Darren Clarke, Zhang Lian-wei (Chn)
68 - Ian Garbutt, Eduardo Romero (Arg), Jarmo Sandelin (Swe), Seve Ballesteros (Spa), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)
69 - Per-Ulrik Johansson (Swe), Patrik Sjoland (Swe), Dean Robertson, Marc Farry (Fra), Mark McNulty (Zim), Andrew Coltart, Peter Baker, Paul Lawrie, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Christopher Hanell (Swe), Miguel Angel Martin (Spa)
70 - A Wall, T Johnstone (Zim), P Mitchell, D Park, M Campbell (Nzl), B May(USA), C Montgomerie
71 - F Cea (Spa), J Coceres (Arg), P Eales, I Garrido (Spa), G Evans, Kyi Hla Han (Myanmar), J Moseley (Aus), P Fulke (Swe), I Woosnam, A Cabrera (Arg), J Van de Velde (Fra), S Kjeldsen (Den)
72 - D Carter, R Gonzalez (Arg), P McGinley, S Struver (Ger), D Howell, LWestwood, JM Olazabal (Spa)
73 - P O'Malley (Aus), P Broadhurst, J Bickerton, R Karlsson (Swe), M James
74 - S Luna (Spa)
75 - V Phillips, G Orr, G Turner (Nzl), A Cejka (Ger)
79 - S Leaney (Aus)

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