PGA tour: Eight golfers tied at lead

Eight golfers - all Americans - shot 5-under 65s on Thursday and were tied for the lead at the US Bank Championship.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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The firm greens and deep rough have put some teeth into the famously mild par-70 layout that measures 6,759 yards, one of the shortest on the PGA Tour. It puts a premium on iron play and putting while neutralizing the long hitters. An unusually wet spring and summer contributed to the thick rough. Robert Gamez is among that group of eight first-round leaders. The PGA tour veteran sank a birdie on the 10th hole to lower his score to 2-under par. Olin Browne played solid golf, especially on the putting greens. Browne sank a birdie on the 17th hole to get his score down to 4-under par. The others tied for the lead include Danny Briggs, Todd Fischer, Bo Van Pelt, Brett Quigley, Patrick Sheehan and Brian Kortan. Gamez, using the belly putter, did well to sink a fast moving birdie putt on the 12th hole to drop his score to 3-under par in the first round of the tournament. Browne nearly had the magic touch on the finishing hole, but his long birdie try from near the fringe stopped an agonizingly few centimetres from the cup. That putt would have lowered his score to 5-under par. One of the best approach shots of the round was played by little known Danny Briggs. His shot on the 15th hole set up a birdie opportunity. And Briggs took advantage of his well placed approach shot, as he made birdie on that hole to reach 4-under par, just one shot behind the leader. Arguably the shot of the day, though, was played by Gamez. From 30 yards away, he holed out his chip from heavy rough on the 14th hole. (AP)