Karlsson, Singh lead USPGA: Hat-trick of injured champions?

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Published 08/08/2008 10:01:10
 

A two under par round of 68 was enough for the clubhouse lead at Oakland HIlls yesterday. Swede Robert Karlsson and Indian Jeev Milka Singh are one shot ahead of four players on one under. Argentinian Andres Romero is also on two under but was forced to finish his round due to bad light after completing 16 holes.

 

Karlsson is the only play to have placed in the top ten of the other three majors this season, and hopes to do even better this time: "I now feel comfortable playing in the big events where as before I had a bit of a problem, I was very nervous. I always had to prove myself, that I was good enough, and I don't feel that way at all this year."

 

Ankle Injury: Good Omen?

 

Co-leader Jeev Milka Singh also revealed he is wearing a brace on his injured right ankle, to lessen tendon pain. If Tiger Woods can win with one knee, and Padraig Harrington with an injured wrist, could the Indian complete an unlikely hat trick of major winners?

 

Singh, who is the son of former Indian sprinter Milkha Singh, had this to say: "I've been suffering with a little tendon running through the ankle on my right foot - it's got a lot of pain. I've been wearing a brace for the last four weeks. I did injure it just before the French Open - that was about seven, eight weeks ago. I've been getting a lot of physio done, and it gets better. But you hit one of those shots out of the rough, and I'm back to square one."

 

Thrilled

 

Sergio Garcia was "thrilled" with his score,  the Spaniard hit just four of fourteen fairways in regulation yet carded a creditable 69 after bogeying the last hole.

 

"I putted good. I chipped good. I hit a lot of good shots into the greens and one-under-par on this course, I'm thrilled with it"

 

World number two Phil Mickelson carded an even par 70 and was satisfied with his efforts.  Favourite before the tournament began, the three time major winner said ""I'm just happy to have shot even-par," the 2005 champion said: "After the start I thought it was pretty good to hang in there, fight and make some birdies because there were a lot of holes that were tough to get to."

 

Double Open Champion Padraig Harrington is three shots off the lead after carding an eventful 71 that included three birdies at the start. The Irishman's round was interrupted by 83 minutes for rain and the possible threat of lightning. Harrington said of his round:

 

"It felt like I played a lot better than 71. I really struggled on the greens and I had a number of putts that the hole lipped out on, so it made me feel like I was putting a lot worse than I was maybe."

 

 




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