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'Big 3' a big bust; all over par in Round 1

Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer
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BETHESDA, Md. – It was the marquee three-ball in name only. Those who braved a light drizzle and arrived early at Congressional on Thursday to get a glimpse of the game’s three best got . . . well, a combined card of 10 over par and little to cheer about.

“None of us played particularly well and probably got what we deserved,” said Lee Westwood, the highball in Thursday’s clash of the world Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

In order, the top of the world heap shot 74 (No. 1 Luke Donald), 75 (No. 2 Westwood) and 74 (No. 3 Martin Kaymer).

Combined, the threesome, all of whom have held the No. 1 ranking at some point over the last year, managed to make just nine birdies and are currently well off the pace set by frontrunner Y.E. Yang at 3 under.

Despite birdies at his first two holes of the day (Nos. 10-11), Donald missed more fairways than he hit and turned in 39; while neither Kaymer nor Westwood ever found any rhythm.

As for this week’s No. 1 scenarios, Westwood could overtake Donald with a victory while Kaymer needs a victory and Donald to finish outside the top 15, and Westwood outside the top 2, to secure the top spot.