Trio Lead in England Els Six Back

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SURREY, England -- Irishman Peter Lawrie fired a 5-under- par 67 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead after one round of the BMW Championship. Lawrie was joined atop the crowded leaderboard by Graeme McDowell and Jose-Filipe Lima.
 
A quartet of Australians - Peter Fowler, Marcus Fraser, Wade Ormsby and Nick O'Hern - are among eight players tied for fourth place at 4-under-par 68. They were joined there by Marten Olander, Peter Hedblom, 2003 British Open champion Ben Curtis and Andrew Oldcorn, the 2001 winner of this event.
 
Ernie Els
Ernie Els struggled on Day 1 of the BMW Championship, finishing six strokes off the pace.
Lawrie opened his round on the West Course at the Wentworth Club with a birdie at the par-4 first. He collected his second birdie at the fourth.
 
The Irishman dropped a shot on the seventh with a three-putt bogey, but holed a sand-wedge from 124 yards out for eagle at the par-4 eighth to jump to minus-3.
 
The 31-year-old faltered to another bogey at the ninth. Lawrie slid back to 1-under after a bogey on No. 11 but he caught fire down the stretch.
 
Lawrie rolled in a 6-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 13th. He chipped in for birdie from just over the 14th green and capped a run of three straight birdies as his birdie putt on 15 dropped into the cup. He closed with a 4-foot birdie putt at the last to grab a share of the lead.
 
'It was a great draw to be off first this morning. The greens were in perfect condition,' said Lawrie. 'You've got to take advantage of it and that's what I did today. I played lovely.'
 
McDowell tripped to a bogey on the second, but atoned for that error with a birdie on the next. The Ulsterman then holed an eagle on the par-5 fourth but fell back to even-par after bogeys on six and nine.
 
Around the turn, the two-time champion on the European Tour moved back to minus-two with birdies on 11 and 13. McDowell ran off three consecutive birdies from the 16th to climb to minus-5.
 
'I am pretty content with that finish,' McDowell said. 'It's always nice to finish well. I played solid. I'm surprised that it wasn't a little better than it is. I'm pretty happy to be in at 5 under. That's something to build on.'
 
Lima stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. He picked up a birdie at the fifth, but struggled to a three-putt bogey at the sixth. The 23-year- old recovered with back-to-back birdies from the seventh.
 
He two-putted for birdie on the 12th. Lima made it two in a row as he birdied the par-4 13th and got to minus-4 with a birdie on the 16th. Lima, like his fellow leaders, birdied the par-5 closing hole to finish at 5 under.
 
'That was a strange round, because I woke up this morning with a big pain in my back, but the physio guys did good work on it,' said Lima. 'I had just a little pain on the course, but everything is going perfect now.'
 
Australian Peter Lonard carded a 3-under-par 69. He was joined in a tie for 12th place by Steven O'Hara, Robert Coles, Stephen Dodd, Alastair Forsyth, Peter Hanson, Brad Kennedy and Damien McGrane.
 
Nick Faldo, a four-time winner of this event, is one stroke further back at minus-2. Among others also at minus-2 are U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Defending champion Scott Drummond finished at 1-under-par 71 while World No. 3 Ernie Els managed a 73 in the opening round.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - BMW Championship

  • Full Coverage - BMW Championship