Appleby, Coles in touch
Friday, 17 August 2012
Carl Pettersson picked up where he left off at last week's US PGA Championship to take the first-round lead at the Wyndham Championship, as Australians Gavin Coles and Stuart Appleby also got off to strong starts in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Pettersson was in contention for a maiden major title heading into the final round at Kiawah Island until Rory McIlroy blew the field away with a final-round masterclass and eight-stroke win, with Pettersson finishing tied for third.
The Swede maintained his impressive form to fire an eight-under 62 at the Sedgefield Country Club and lead by one shot from David Mathis and Tim Clark.
Pettersson hit a purple patch toward the end of his front nine, rolling in four straight birdies before four more on the run in rounded out a bogey-free round that keeps him on track for a second PGA Tour win this season.
Web.com Tour graduate Coles hit five birdies and two bogeys to sit in a tie for 20th alongside 18 others including Appleby, who was five under heading to the 16th until a pair of late bogeys saw him slide down the leaderboard.
Matt Jones' round was also tainted by a final-hole bogey but the New South Welshman is still in contention at two under alongside compatriots Nick O'Hern and Rod Pampling.
Nathan Green and Steven Bowditch were the other Australians to break par and sit seven shots behind Pettersson.
American Tom Gillis and Scott Stallings both carded opening-round 64s to sit two shots off the lead, while compatriot Matt Every is in outright seventh at five under.
A chasing pack of 11 players, including reigning champion Webb Simpson and Ryder Cup hopeful Nick Watney, share eighth place a shot further back.