Chad Campbell steals show in first round
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - American Chad Campbell raised hopes of the lowest score at a major championship before a faltering finish earned a one-shot lead on seven-under-par 65 in the U.S. Masters first round on Thursday.
Nine under with two holes to play on a vulnerable Augusta National layout, Campbell bogeyed 17 and 18.
That put him a stroke in front of fellow Americans Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, who bogeyed the last on a glorious spring day that contained hardly a breath of wind.
While four-times winner Tiger Woods began and ended poorly to shoot a 70 in the favorable conditions, Campbell led a glut of low scores on a course trimmed by 10 yards since last year.
With several tees pushed forward on a layout measuring 7,435 yards, the Texan set a Masters record by starting with five consecutive birdies.
Out in five-under 31, Campbell reeled off four birdies in a row from the 12th before finding a bunker with his approach on 17 and three-putting the 18th green.
A par-par finish would have earned the 34-year-old the 24th 63 recorded in a major.
"I got off on a roll and it's always nice to make a couple of birdies to start, much less five," a beaming Campbell told reporters. Continued...