Goosen Leads After 63


PARIS, France -- Retief Goosen fired an 8-under-par 63 on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the Trophe Lancme at Saint-Nom-La Breteche Golf Club.
Mikael Lundberg is alone in second place at 7-under-par 64, while Simon Wakefield is in third at minus-6.
Goosen opened on the back nine Thursday and made the turn at 2 under par, thanks to three birdies and a bogey.
On the second nine, Goosen caught fire with a birdie at No. 1. He collected four birdies in a row from the third hole but the best was yet to come for the 2001 U.S. Open champion. He knocked his second shot to the par-5 eighth to four feet and converted the eagle putt.
Goosen did find some trouble on his way into the clubhouse. He needed a birdie at the last to break Mark Pilkington's course record of 62 from last year's event and Goosen started the hole well with a drive down the center of the fairway.
He had a sand-wedge in his hands but pushed the ball into the right greenside bunker. Goosen had a horrible lie in the trap and did all he could to blast out to 10 feet. His par putt missed the hole but Goosen, the 2000 champion of this event, grabbed the 18-hole lead.
'I had no idea about the course record to be honest with you,' said Goosen. 'I just wanted to shoot the lowest score that I could, so in that respect it was a shame about the last hole.'
Goosen is 18th on the Order of Merit and 22nd on the PGA Tour money list. Despite his high ranking on each tour's money list, Goosen has yet to post a victory in 2003.
'This year I have been pleased with my level of consistency but a little disappointed not to have won,' admitted Goosen. 'But, having won here in 2000, I have a lot of good memories of this golf course, so hopefully this can be the week that I make the breakthrough.'
Lundberg rattled off five birdies in a row from the eighth and got to 7 under par with a birdie at No. 16. He dropped a shot at the 17th but rebounded at the closing hole with a 20-foot birdie to take sole possession of second place.
Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul McGinley, Terry Price and Carlos Rodiles share fourth place at 5-under-par 66, followed by Pilkington, Jorge Berendt, Peter Fowler, Marcus Fraser, Ian Poulter and Zane Scotland, who are tied for eighth place at minus-4.
Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington are part of a group tied for 14th place at 3-under-par 68.
Ben Curtis returned to Europe for the first time since capturing the British Open at Royal St. George's in July. He opened with a 2-under-par 69 and is tied for 35th.
'Considering I have had a bit of time away from the clubs recently and the practice round on Wednesday was my first competitive round in 10 days, I'm pretty pleased with that effort,' said Curtis, who is trying to become the first American to win this title since 1998 British Open champion Mark O'Meara in 1997.
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