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Golf

Sindelar finds his game

By wire services
Published September 10, 2004

OAKVILLE, Ontario - Joey Sindelar had to wait five hours for the Canadian Open to get started Thursday, which was nothing compared with the five weeks he had to wait for his game to show up.

His patience wearing thin after five straight weeks of mediocre results, Sindelar made Glen Abbey look like a breeze with 5-under 66, giving him a two-shot lead over Pat Perez.

With a five-hour delay because of rain, half the field did not come close to finishing the first round and four players didn't even get to tee off.

Perez, who is 140th on the PGA Tour money list and is in jeopardy of losing his card, had 3-under 68. Only 10 other players among the early starters managed to break par on a course that was soaked with rain, but still played difficult because of 30 mph gusts and pins tucked atop knobs to avoid standing water.

"When the wind is blowing this hard and you're out of synch, it's miserable," Sindelar said. "It's like throwing a Frisbee out there. I would definitely call today's ball-striking A-plus for me."

Vijay Singh gets an incomplete.

He was among the late starters, and the 41-year-old Fijian had to wait until nearly 6 p.m. before he could play his first tournament as golf's No. 1 player. Two holes into his round, Singh went from the trees into the water, then over the green and wound up with triple bogey.

He was at 3 over after only five holes.

David Duval took another step toward returning from a slump from which some thought he would never recover - not because he shot par 71, but because he was upset about it.

"That's a good place to be - not happy about an even par on a day like this," Duval said. "That's a lot of progress from where I was a couple of months ago."

EUROPEAN PGA TOUR: Padraig Harrington, playing days after laser eye surgery, broke his slump with 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over Alex Cejka at the German Masters in Pulheim. Harrington, Europe's highest-ranked Ryder Cup player at No. 8, had five birdies on the back nine. Paul Casey, like Cejka a Ryder Cup player, shared third with five others and was two strokes off the lead. Todd Hamilton, returning to Europe for the first time since winning the British Open, struggled with 72.

JAPAN TOUR: Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen shot par 70 in the opening round of the Suntory Open at Inzai, leaving him five strokes behind leaders Scott Laycock and Y.E. Yang.

ASIAN TOUR: Ernie Els shot 71 and was three strokes behind leader Hendrik Buhrmann after the first round of the Korean Open in Seoul. [Last modified September 10, 2004, 01:15:35]


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