Trio set the early pace at Australian Open

Three players hold a two-shot lead at the end of an eventful opening day at Royal Sydney after carding course-record equalling seven-under 65s in benign conditions.

Three players hold a two-shot lead at the end of an eventful opening day at Royal Sydney after carding course-record equalling seven-under 65s in benign conditions.

Mathew Goggin, Stephen Dartnall and Ewan Porter set the pace on day one of the 2008 Australian Open by equalling John Senden’s previous best round set in 2006.

Fresh from his runner-up finish at last week’s Australian PGA Championship, Goggin hit the ground running with six birdies on the front nine to set up his round, while Dartnall – who fired a 62 in Monday’s qualifying to earn his start - managed six birdies and an eagle.

Porter birdied his final two holes to be the last man in at minus seven on a low scoring day.

New Zealand duo Mark Brown and David Smail, who led for much of the day after firing early five-under 67s, are joined by Australian Masters winner Rod Pampling two shots off the pace.

Queensland’s Troy Kennedy sits at minus four after signing for a 68 alongside Kiwi amateur Danny Lee.

Senden, who scored a hole in one on the par-three 13th to storm into the lead after teeing off at the 10th in just the second group of the day, is one of six players at minus three.

Pre-tournament favourite Geoff Ogilvy rescued his day with four late birdies on the way to an even-par start, while Northern Irishman Darren Clarke also showed tremendous powers of recovery on his way to an opening 72 after racking up a disastrous triple bogey on his second hole of the day – the par-four 11th.

Defending champion Craig Parry struggled to a one-over 73 to sit in a share of 70th with Stuart Appleby, Marcus Fraser and Peter O’Malley – just to name a few.

John Daly’s roller-coaster ride in Australia continued with a disappointing six-over 78 that included three double bogeys, three bogeys and three birdies.

The two-time major winner was also involved in an incident with an over zealous fan, smashing his camera against a tree in a fit of rage. Golf Australia later announced no action would be taken against the American.

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