Green Leads Norman Struggles at Australian Open

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Nathan Green shot a 5-under-par 67 in cold, windy and rainy conditions at Royal Sydney on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open.
 
With heavy rain and gusting winds affecting most of the morning players, Green, starting from the 10th hole, had five straight pars before birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 and a bogey on the 18th. He had four birdies on his final nine.
 
Only six of the 143 starters finished under par Thursday, with more than 40 golfers shooting 80 or higher.
 
Off the tee was nothing impressive, but the rest of my game was OK today, Green said. My pace was pretty good, and I managed to hit a lot of greens.
 
Richard Green, who plays regularly on the European Tour, was tied for second with fellow Australian Jarrod Lyle at 69. Australians Peter Lonard, Andrew Martin and Ryan Haller were another two shots back. PGA Tour Championship winner Adam Scott had a 74 and defending champion Robert Allenby shot 77.
 
Although the rain held off for most of the afternoon players, the wind picked up, drying, hardening and speeding up the greens.
 
Morning starter Richard Green, no relation to Nathan, said the conditions were the most difficult hes seen all year.
 
At the Irish Open in May, the wind was coming sideways and we had lots of rain, he said. Today, it was the same thing but it was cold, very cold. Very surprising for this time of year.
 
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy was at even-par 72, and counted himself lucky.
 
It was probably one of the toughest rounds Ive played all year, he said. I kind of hung in there. In the squalls, against the wind, I was hitting my 3-iron 160 or 170 yards. I usually hit it about 230.
 
It would be really easy today to put up a big number and be gone. It can only improve from here.
 
Greg Norman, who has won the Australian Open five times, had a horrendous day, shooting a 79 while playing in the same threesome as Nathan Green. Normans son, Greg Jr., caddied for his dad.
 
Sometimes I hit some good shots and sometimes I dont, the 51-year-old Norman said. If you dont play a lot of golf in these conditions, youre going to pay the price. Hopefully I can come back tomorrow and shoot in the 60s.
 
Other scores included 75s for two-time Australian Open champion Aaron Baddeley, Stuart Appleby and American Kevin Stadler. American Bob Estes had a 77 and Australian Craig Parry 82.
 
Lyle, who earned his U.S. PGA Tour card for next year after his 18th-place finish on the Nationwide Tour, said he was playing without pressure for the first time in months.
 
The last three months on the Nationwide Tour I felt like I had a heap of pressure, Lyle said. Obviously you want to finish inside that top 20 and I was always around that 17 to 19, 20 mark.
 
Its just nice to come back to Australian soil, stand up on the tee and know that whatever happens this week Im still going to the PGA Tour next year.
 
Lyle was diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 and spent nine months in hospital. He made a complete recovery and turned professional in 2004.
 
Australian Open Scores
First Round

Nathan Green, Australia 32-35--67
Richard Green, Australia 35-34--69
Jarrod Lyle, Australia 35-34--69
Andrew Martin, Australia 34-37--71
Ryan Haller, Australia 38-33--71
Peter Lonard, Australia 35-36--71
Geoff Ogilvy, Australia 37-35--72
Luke Hickmott, Australia 36-36--72
Glen Dick, Australia 35-37--72
Steven Bowditch, Australia 35-37--72
Mitchell Tasker, Australia 37-36--73
Terry Price, Australia 36-37--73
Mathew Goggin, Australia 34-39--73
Peter O'Malley, Australia 35-38--73
Gavin Coles, Australia 37-36--73
Alex Simpson, Australia 38-35--73
Nick O'Hern, Australia 38-35--73
Cameron Percy, Australia 36-37--73
Neil Sarkies, Australia 35-38--73
Brett Rumford, Australia 38-36--74
Ewan Porter, Australia 36-38--74
a-Rory McIlroy, Ireland 37-37--74
Adam Scott, Australia 36-38--74
Will MacKenzie, United States 35-39--74
Paul Sheehan, Australia 40-34--74
Larry Austin, Australia 37-37--74
Ashley Hall, Australia 39-36--75
Aaron Baddeley, Australia 36-39--75
Aaron Black, Australia 37-38--75
Adam Bland, Australia 38-37--75
Stuart Appleby, Australia 39-36--75
Kevin Stadler, United States 41-34--75
Kurt Barnes, Australia 33-42--75
Jason Norris, Australia 37-38--75
Kevin Chun, New Zealand 39-36--75
a-Richie Gallichan, Australia 38-38--76
John Senden, Australia 37-39--76
Ricky Schmidt, Australia 39-37--76
Stuart Bouvier, Australia 40-36--76
a-Tim Stewart, Australia 37-39--76
Mitchell Brown, Australia 37-39--76
Anthony Painter, Australia 38-38--76
Tony Christie, New Zealand 37-39--76
Matthew Ecob, Australia 38-38--76
Marcus Fraser, Australia 37-39--76
Ben Bunny, Australia 39-37--76
Paul Gow, Australia 39-37--76
Bob Estes, United States 38-39--77
a-Matthew Giles, Australia 38-39--77
Pat Giles, Australia 36-41--77
a-Adam Stephens, Australia 42-35--77
Robert Allenby, Australia 39-38--77
Rod Pampling, Australia 38-39--77
Scott Draper, Australia 41-36--77
Bradley Iles, New Zealand 39-38--77
Martin Pettigrew, New Zealand 39-38--77
a-Stephen Dartnall, Australia 38-39--77
a-Andrew Dodt, Australia 37-40--77
Marcus Cain, Australia 42-35--77
Heath Reed, Australia 38-39--77
a-Bronson Lacassie, Australia 38-39--77
a-Adam Revai, Australia 38-39--77
Peter Wilson, Australia 39-38--77
Stephen Leaney, Australia 38-40--78
Wayne Grady, Australia 41-37--78
Dean Alaban, Australia 38-40--78
Shaun Piper, Australia 38-40--78
Ben Burge, Australia 42-36--78
Mark Brown, New Zealand 37-41--78
Nick Flanagan, Australia 39-39--78
Craig Scott, Australia 40-38--78
Anthony Summers, Australia 37-41--78
Jarrod Moseley, Australia 40-38--78
Michael Brennan, Australia 40-38--78
Michael Curtain, Australia 38-40--78
Matthew Ballard, Australia 41-38--79
Craig Carmichael, Australia 38-41--79
Greg Norman, Australia 41-38--79
a-Cheng Pan, Taiwan 37-42--79
Andrew Tschudin, Australia 41-38--79
a-Danny An, Australia 41-38--79
a-Michael Raseta, Australia 40-39--79
a-Rohan Blizard, Australia 39-40--79
David Walker, Australia 37-42--79
Adrian Percey, Australia 39-40--79
Joe Templar, England 39-40--79
Shane Baxter, Australia 41-38--79
a-Josh Younger, Australia 38-41--79
Tetsuya Watari, Japan 41-38--79
Peter Senior, Australia 40-39--79
Adam Wilcox, Australia 39-40--79
Michael Harwood, Australia 39-41--80
a-Rick Kulacz, Australia 38-42--80
Paul Marantz, Australia 38-42--80
Robin Hodgetts, Australia 41-39--80
Robert Curtis, Australia 41-39--80
Matthew Elliott, Australia 41-39--80
a-Kyu Sim, Australia 40-40--80
Aaron Townsend, Australia 39-41--80
a-Rudi Bezuidenhout, Australia 40-40--80
Peter Nolan, Australia 40-40--80
Martin Doyle, Australia 39-42--81
Ryan Haywood, Australia 41-40--81
Euan Walters, Australia 41-40--81
a-Boyd Watts, Australia 41-40--81
Tony McFadyean, Australia 40-41--81
Steven Myers, Australia 38-44--82
Craig Parry, Australia 42-40--82
a-Jamie Arnold, Australia 40-42--82
Andrew Johnson, Australia 43-39--82
a-Daniel Nisbet, Australia 43-39--82
Brett Partridge, Australia 42-40--82
Adam Crawford, Australia 39-43--82
Scott Fisher, Australia 42-40--82
Anthony Wall, England 39-43--82
a-Matt Jager, Australia 44-38--82
Anthony Brown, Australia 39-43--82
Ben Parker, England 43-39--82
Nigel Stivala, Australia 38-44--82
a-Matt Thomas, Australia 41-41--82
Darren Beck, Australia 41-41--82
a-Peter Cooke, Australia 39-44--83
Jason King, Australia 42-41--83
Leigh McKechnie, Australia 41-42--83
Rowan Beste, Australia 44-39--83
Dylan Taylor, Australia 40-43--83
Troy Kennedy, Australia 43-40--83
a-Daniel Popovic, Australia 39-44--83
a-Brett Rankin, Australia 42-41--83
a-Matthew Gleeson, Australia 39-44--83
Brady Sherwood, Australia 42-42--84
Andrew Pitt, Australia 40-44--84
Eric Egloff, United States 40-44--84
Anthony Still, Australia 40-44--84
Richard Kent, Australia 41-44--85
Scott Adland, Australia 42-43--85
Matthew Guyatt, Australia 39-46--85
a-Danny Lee, New Zealand 43-42--85
Jens Nilsson, Sweden 42-44--86
a-Brent McCullough, Australia 43-44--87
Tristan Lambert, Australia 45-42--87
Brad Andrews, Australia 46-41--87
Neil Speirs, Australia 46-42--88
Lucas Parsons, Australia WD
 
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