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Sweden's Gronberg leads PGA qualifying

By Associated Press
Published December 5, 2003

WINTER GARDEN - Sweden's Mathias Gronberg shot 3-under 69 Thursday for a one-stroke lead after two rounds at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.

Gronberg three-putted his first hole and was 2 over through six, then made birdies at Nos. 7-10. He added birdies at the 16th and 18th on the Panther Lake course at Orange County National and was at 8-under 136.

Jeff Freeman (68), Bradley Hughes (69), Danny Briggs (70), Kevin Na (67) and Jon Mills (68) were tied for second at 137.

The top 30 players after the sixth round Monday will receive 2004 PGA Tour cards, and the remaining players will get exempt or conditional status on the Nationwide Tour.

Na surged into contention with a 5-under 67 at Crooked Cat, a round that included an eagle on the first hole and birdies on Nos. 2 and 4. He also added birdies at the 14th and 17th.

Na was pleased with his start and wary of the remaining rounds.

"They're right, it's a marathon," he said. "You just have to stay patient and try to minimize your mistakes. It's a long week. You have a lot of time to make up or get a head start and play comfortable the last round."

AUSTRALIAN MASTERS: Two-time champion Peter Lonard and Marcus Cain shot 6-under 66s to share the first-round lead in Melbourne.

Fellow Australians Peter Senior, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and Jarrod Moseley were tied for third at 67.

Ryan Palmer was the top American after 1-under 71. Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, opened with 74.

HONG KONG OPEN: Rookie Richard McEvoy of England shot 8-under 62 to take a four-stroke lead after the first round.

McEvoy, 24, began his first full season on the European Tour - a month after earning his tour card - with nine birdies.

Scotland's Steven O'Hara and India's Amandeep Johl tied for second with 66s.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington, the world No. 10 and highest ranked player in the tournament, was in a group of eight players five shots behind McEvoy.

The tournament is the opening leg of the 2004 European Tour and the penultimate tournament of this season's Asian PGA Tour.

[Last modified December 5, 2003, 01:34:13]


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