Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Justin Rose shoots a hole-in-one, leads Order of Merit race

AP, SOTOGRANDE, SPAIN

Justin Rose had a hole-in-one in his one-under 70 on Thursday in the first round of the Volvo Masters, taking a one-shot lead over Padraig Harrington in the Order of Merit race.

Rose, who trails Harrington by 657 euros (US$948) for the European Tour money title, nailed the ace with a six-iron at the third hole. The Englishman also had three birdies and four bogeys at the Valderrama course.

RECOVERY

Harrington recovered from being five over after the front nine to hole five of his six birdies and shoot 71.

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland played the swirling winds best to head the field with a three-under 68, leading 2005 champion Paul McGinley of Ireland by one stroke.

"If this wind keeps up, it's going to be a real grueling weekend," McDowell said. "I'm just content with the way I controlled the ball. Certainly three-under par is beyond sort of what I was hoping for today."

UNDER PAR

Peter O'Malley of Australia (70) was the only other player in the 55-man field to finish with an under par score.

Order of Merit leader Ernie Els is 217,295 euros (US$313,900) in front of last year's winner, Harrington, but the South African is currently playing in Singapore on the Asian Tour.

Swedish players Niclas Fasth (75) and Henrik Stenson (76) are also in contention for the Order of Merit, while defending champion Jeev Milkha Singh of India shot a five-over 76.

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