Immelman, Lonard & Webster share lead

Trevor Immelman, Peter Lonard and Steve Webster share the lead at six-under-par after the first round of the Heineken Classic

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Ernie Els is looking to become only the sixth golfer to win the same event for four consecutive years this weekend. The South African could only manage a one-over-par round on the first day of his third title defence at the Heineken Open on Friday though. Colin Montgomerie would move to within one shot of the early pace after 12 holes. The Scot birdied three of his first five holes and sat at five-under-par with six holes to play. Australian Brad Lamb poured in an eagle putt at the par four-fifth to move into contention. Lamb went on to card a five-under-par round of 66. He would share joint fourth place with Camilo Villegas. Measured approach Colombian Villegas put on an inspired show of measured approach shots, peppering the pin on the way to his 66 - a round of five birdies and no bogeys. Starting at the tenth, Peter Lonard made an early move up the leaderboard with consecutive birdies at the 11th and 12th holes. Lonard added four further birdies and the Australian managed to keep his card clear of bogeys to claim a share of the lead at six-under-par. England's Steve Webster would also shoot a 65 on Thursday for a place at the top of the leaderboard. South African Trevor Immelman would complete the trio of players who led after the first round. Like Lonard, Immelman started his round at the tenth and picked up early back-to-back birdies - this time at the 12th and 13th holes. Another four consecutive birdies from the 15th hole saw Immelman move to six-under by the turn. Immelman picked up further birdies at the 2nd and 5th, but his charge towards sole possession of the lead came to an abrupt end at the par-three 8th. Having already found the bunker from the tee, Immelman's second shot rolled back into the sand trap and he would double bogey the hole on the way to a six-under-par 65. With first round play delayed by two-and-a-half hours at the start of the day due to traffic problems in Melbourne, several players remain on course having yet to complete their opening rounds.(AP)