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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK
Roberts races to lead
Loren Roberts watches the flight of his ball off the tee
Roberts made his move after seven holes

Loren Roberts has stormed into the lead of the Buick Classic at the Westchester Country Club with a sensational closing charge on the first day.

The American reeled off seven birdies in his last 11 holes to set the first round pace with a seven-under-par 64 in the $3.5m event in New York.

Roberts holds a one-shot lead over Jerry Kelly, Michael Muehr and Bob Heintz.

Chris Smith and David Gossett are a further shot adrift on 66.

Retief Goosen acknowledges the crowd
Goosen acknowledges the crowd
Retief Goosen of South Africa, who will be defending his US Open title next week, was one of eight players on 67.

Goosen's compatriot Ernie Els and Spain's Sergio Garcia, the defending champion, were among a group of 10 on 68.

"I just happened to have a great day with the putter," Roberts explained of his 24-putt round.

"I had an impossible chip-in and made a couple of long putts.

"I hit a couple of really good iron shots at the right time at tough pins, and I just kind of got on a roll and hit it on the right spots."

Having started his round on the back nine, Roberts began to make a move when he chipped in for a birdie at the par-four 17th.

The 46-year-old pulled back shots at the next two holes and finished the day with nine birdies and two bogeys.


Leading scores after the first round of the Buick Classic:
(U.S. unless stated; par-71)

Seven under - Loren Roberts
Six under - Jerry Kelly, Michael Muehr, Bob Heintz
Five under - Chris Smith, David Gossett
Four under - Retief Goosen (South Africa), Jim Carter, Stewart Cink, Steve Elkington (Australia), Robert Allenby (Australia), Pat Perez, John Rollins, Craig Parry (Australia)
Three under - Brian Gay, Brad Elder, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els (South Africa), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Fred Couples, Jose Coceres (Argentina), Brent Geiberger, Paul Gow (Australia), Tom Lehman

Selected others:
Two under - Angel Cabrera (Argentina), David Frost (South Africa), Craig Perks (New Zealand), Phil Tataurangi (New Zealand), Ian Leggatt (Canada), Frank Nobilo (New Zealand)
One under - Stephen Ames (Canada), Stuart Appleby (Australia), Bernhard Langer (Germany), Mike Weir (Canada)
Level par - Steve Allan (Australia), Fulton Allem (South Africa), Brian Watts (Canada), Carlos Franco (Paraquay), Peter Lonard (Australia)
One over - Deane Pappas (South Africa), Adam Scott (Australia), Grant Waite (New Zealand), KJ Choi (South Africa), Toshi Izawa (Japan), Per-Ulrik Johansson (Sweden), Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain), Jesper Parnevik (Sweden)
Two over - Luke Donald (Britain), Glen Hnatiuk (Canada), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain), Kaname Yokoo (Japan), Richard Zokol (Canada)
Three over - Greg Chalmers (Australia), John Senden (Australia), Michael Campbell (New Zealand)
Four over - Vijay Singh (Fiji)
Five over - Geoff Ogilvy (Australia), Esteban Toledo (Mexico)
Six over - Hidemichi Tanaka (Japan)

This week's golf from around the world

English Open

Buick Classic

LPGA Ch'ship

GOLF STATISTICS
Links to more Golf stories are at the foot of the page.


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