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Golf Roundup : Floyd Opens With a 66, Shares Lead in World Series

August 22, 1986|From Times Wire Services

Ray Floyd, rebounding from a double-bogey on the front nine, birdied the last three holes for a 66 to tie for the first-round lead in the $700,000 NEC World Series of Golf Thursday at Akron, Ohio.

Mark Wiebe and Donnie Hammond also had first-round scores of four-under-par 66.

Floyd had seven birdies at Firestone Country Club, where the greens have been rebuilt.

"Actually, I'm hitting the ball better and playing with more confidence (than when he won the U.S. Open two months ago)," Floyd said.

Said Hammond: "One of the easiest days we'll see at Firestone--virtually no wind."

Bernhard Langer of West Germany birdied the final two holes and was tied with David Ishii one stroke behind the leaders at 67.

British Open champion Greg Norman, making his last American appearance of the season, had a 68, as did Ben Crenshaw, Lanny Wadkins, Massy Kuramoto of Japan and Ken Green, who won the International last week.

Bob Tway, winner of the PGA and three other titles this year, scored an eagle on the second hole, but struggled in with a 74 that included a 7 on the long 16th.

Masters champion Jack Nicklaus, a five-time Firestone winner, had a 71.

Said Wiebe: "I don't have many positive things to say about the new greens, so I won't say anything at all. I loved the course the way it used to be."

About the greens, Langer said: "They're certainly not easy to play. There's no root structure and so they don't hold a shot very well."

Floyd took exception to some spectator mounds that have been built near the greens. He made a double-bogey from behind one of those mounds on the fifth hole.

But Floyd got back to even-par at the turn and birdied the par-3 12th after his 5-iron shot hit the hole, then bounced four feet away.

On his birdies on the last three holes, Floyd hit a sand wedge to within six feet on the 16th, got a 7-iron to within eight feet on the 17th and again used a 7-iron on the 18th, this one stopping four feet away.

Jim Carter of Mesa, Ariz., and Dale Riley of Napa, Calif., shot 7-under par 65s on separate courses to share the first-round lead in the $75,000 Queen Mary Open.

Carter, former NCAA champion from Arizona State, had seven birdies at Skylinks in Long Beach, while Riley had seven birdies at Lakewood Country Club.

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