Allenby leads Bob Hope Classic

Robert Allenby enjoyed the benefit of a late-morning tee time and went on a birdie binge on Wednesday, leading the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Athletes and Hollywood bigwigs joined up with the PGA Tour for the opening round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Southern California. Actor Andy Garcia joined ex-Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis, baseball's Roger Clemens and boxer Oscar De La Hoya for a round with the pros on Wednesday. Tournament host George Lopez certainly came prepared for the worst. He outfitted his caddy with a bandolier of golf balls - just in case. And although the rounds progressed slower than a normal PGA Tour round, Lopez kept the galleries thoroughly entertained throughout the day. Oscar De La Hoya showed some skills on the greens, punctuated by his more familiar jab. David Duval, who shot a tour record-tying 59 on the final day to win the tournament in 1999 and hasn't finished higher than a tie for 48th in the event since 2000, shot a five-under-par opening round 67 this time around. Duval was among a group of seven players, that included Englishman Justin Rose, tied for 12th place. Phil Mickelson made his 2007 debut with a two-under 70 and finished the day tied with defending champion Chad Campbell amongst others in joint 47th place. Kevin Na was among a group of ten players at four-under par while Dudley Hart topped a group of eight at six-under 66, three strokes behind leader Robert Allenby. The 35-year-old Allenby is coming off an eighth place finish in Hawaii last weekend. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Allenby first played on the PGA tour in 1993. He won twice in both 2000 and 2001 and has earned more than $13.5 million US dollars in his career.