Verplank leads after seven holes

Hoch and Goosen lead the chase at Augusta's first round

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 11 Apr 2002

Scott Verplank, one of Curtis Strange’s wild cards for September's Ryder Cup, took an early one stroke lead in the US Masters, when it started this afternoon.

The former US Amateur champion, who carries a diabetic monitor, is top of the US stats for driving accuracy and second in putting and birdied two of his opening seven holes.

An eagle by twice champion Jose Maria Olazabal at the par-5 second put him level with Verplank.

Close behind on one under par are Scott Hoch, beaten by Nick Faldo in a playoff in 1989, and US Open champion Retief Goosen who birdied the second hole.

Irish amateur Michael Hoey is one of a handful of players on even par after five holes, alongside Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Greg Norman.

Tiger Woods parred his opening hole, while Faldo is one over after eight holes. At the turn former Open champion Paul Lawrie is four over par.



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