Goosen and Ishikawa set pace, Woods five back

Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:33pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Veteran South African Retief Goosen drew on good memories of past Presidents Cups played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club as he charged into a tie for the first-round lead at the Quicken Loans National in Virginia on Thursday.

The 46-year-old, who represented the Internationals in the 2000 and 2005 Cup editions at the leafy venue in Gainesville, piled up eight birdies in hot, humid conditions for a flawless eight-under-par 63.

Goosen covered his back nine in a sparkling four-under 31 to finish level with 23-year-old Japanese Ryo Ishikawa, who reeled off five consecutive birdies on his front nine before recording a hole-in-one at the par-three fourth after the turn.

South African Ernie Els and Americans Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell fired 64s while tournament host Tiger Woods recovered from a poor start to open with a 68 after play was suspended for 97 minutes due to the threat of lightning.

"I hit a lot of iron shots close that gave me birdie chances," Goosen, a seven-times winner on the PGA Tour, told Golf Channel after taking advantage of preferred lies on a soft, receptive layout.

"I missed a couple of short ones, actually, out there but just one green missed in regulation and I got that up and down. So overall, a great round."

Goosen has fond memories of the Presidents Cups at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, especially the 2005 edition when he finished with a 4-0-1 record that included a victory over Woods in the last-day singles.

"It was a great week for me but it would have been nice if the team had won," smiled Goosen, who has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2009 Transitions Championship. "I have a lot of good memories here."

Former world number one Woods, who has struggled on the PGA Tour this year while working through his latest swing change as he recovers from back surgery, rebounded impressively from three bogeys in his first four holes.   Continued...

 
Retief Goosen of South Africa watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 20, 2015.   REUTERS/Phil Noble