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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 00:04 GMT 01:04 UK
Superb Watson shares lead
Tom Watson
Watson recorded his lowest US Open score since 1987
Tom Watson delighted the crowds at Olympia Fields as he shot a magnificent five-under-par 65 in the first round to take a share of the overnight lead at the US Open.

Watson, the 1982 champion playing in his 30th US Open, equalled his lowest ever round in the championship to join qualifier Brett Quigley at the top of the leaderboard.

Defending champion Tiger Woods finished with an unspectacular level-par 70 in an otherwise dramatic opening day.

Watson, 53, was back to his best as he finished with two birdies in three holes after earlier holing a six iron for an eagle.

The highlight of the round, though, came at the seventh when his 25-footer stopped agonisingly on the lip before dropping moments later to roars from the packed gallery.

LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)
-5 T Watson, B Quigley
-4 J Leonard, JD Blake
-3 J Furyk, S Leaney (Aus)
-2 T Gillis, M Calcavecchia, I Leggatt (Can)
Quigley, 33, is yet to win on the PGA Tour and did not make the halfway cut in his two previous US Opens but stormed into contention at Olympia Fields.

He mixed three birdies with a bogey to reach the turn in 34 and, after dropping another shot at the par-four 10th, came home with four birdies in the last seven holes to finish the day at five under.

Quigley's playing partner Brian Davis, making his first appearance in a US major, made the fastest start in the tournament's history with and eagle and three birdies in the first four holes, but fell back thereafter.

Quigley and Watson finished the opening round one shot ahead of fellow Americans Justin Leonard and Jay Don Blake.

World number one Woods struggled with his short game on a murky opening day at Olympia Fields.

A stunning 20-foot eagle putt at the par-five sixth hole to go one under was followed by a wayward drive on the ninth - his last hole - leading to a bogey.

Who would have thought it? I had tears in my eyes - a lot of emotion there
World number two Ernie Els, playing with fellow double US Open winner Woods, finished on 69, with 17 pars and one birdie at the short 15th.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie had a disappointing finish to his round, falling back to one under with two bogeys in the last four holes.

It was nevertheless Montgomerie's first sub-70 round in America this year.

His 69, matched by Padraig Harrington and later Sergio Garcia, put them one ahead of defending champion Woods.

Harrington birdied two of his first five holes, three-putted the difficult ninth and then, after grabbing another birdie immediately with a curling 10-footer, finished with another three putts.

The crowd were great and I like the course
Colin Montgomerie
Justin Rose began his debut by going to the turn in a three-over 39, but then came home in a superb three-under 31.

Darren Clarke also mounted a recovery to level par after bogeying two of his first three holes, but it was a bad day for Paul Lawrie, Nick Faldo and Paul Casey.

Lawrie and Faldo finished with 75 and Casey struggled to a six-over 76.



Links to more US Open 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Tiger Woods
"You know the course is going to be difficult"


Joint leader Tom Watson
"The old magic returned"


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