Two on Top Down in New Zealand


AUCKLUND, N.Z. - Craig Jones and Alan Patterson raced out to the lead after the opening round of the Holden New Zealand Open being played at the Auckland Golf Clubs Middlemore course.
Queenslander Chris Downes had a chance to join the pair at the top but a bogey at the last dropped him one shot off the pace.
Seven golfers, including former PGA Championship winner Wayne Grady, are in a tie for fourth at 4-under-par 68. The group also had the top American, Darrell Kestner.
Perfect conditions in New Zealand set the tone for the good scores and Jones, from Queensland, took advantage by posting eight birdies. A double bogey at the par-4 14th was a result of a bad lie in a greenside bunker.
Patterson also had a double bogey on the 14th, to go along with his six birdies and an eagle.
Six players are tied for 11th a shot further back at 3-under, including four local hopefuls ' 2000 champion Michael Campbell, defending champion David Smail, Mahal Pearce and Gareth Paddison, who all carded 3-under 69s.
Phil Tataurangi, winner of last year's PGA Tour's Las Vegas Invitational, posted a 1-under-par 71, as did 1992 champion Grant Waite.
Four-time champion and former British Open champion Bob Charles was forced to pull out of an event for only the second time in his career on Wednesday evening due to an ongoing elbow problem.