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July 17 2010

3:13 PM

Old Course generous early

The Old Course is yielding some birdies right now. Henrik Stenson has just played his first nine holes in 32 to move to 6 under for the tournament while Sergio Garcia rolled in a 3-footer at No. 9 to get to 5 under.

Not to mention, Robert Rock and Ross Fisher have finished off rounds of 67 and 68, respectively. Rock shot 31 on the front that included an eagle at the seventh hole when he holed a pitching wedge from the fairway.

“I played nicely,” said Rock, who shot 68-78 in the first two rounds and made the cut on the number. “I was disappointed to miss from two-and-a-half feet for a par on No. 17 – then I would have had a round without a bogey. … I really had it going on the front and kept it together on the back. I was quite pleased about that.”

Fisher also faltered on the Road Hole, making a double bogey. But he drove the back of the 18th green and two-putted from 25 feet for fifth and final birdie on the inward nine.

“You got to play 18 holes of perfect golf today, but unfortunately, I played 17,” Fisher said. “What a shame. I flushed a 5-iron and thought the wind would move it. I trusted the wind, but that’s golf. Unfortunately, it went out of bounds. … It leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I was swinging it lovely.”

The early results admittedly are impressive. At the same time, though, the wind has picked up considerably in the last half hour. Something tells me the leaderboard will have a very different look when the final putts are struck on Saturday. – Helen Ross

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