MIYAZAKI, Japan - David Duval made eight birdies and shot 6-under 64 in the first round of the Dunlop Phoenix, putting him in the lead for the first time in three years.
The former No.1 player in the world has not won since the Dunlop Phoenix four years ago. He has been mired in a slump brought on by injuries that altered his swing then confidence after so many poor scores. He has made only one cut this year, at the Texas Open.
Duval said he still feels pain in his back and shoulder but hopes he is turning the corner.
"I've been playing well for about a month now but just haven't been scoring well," said Duval, who led Tiger Woods by one. "I'm well aware of how I've played over the past few years. But I've worked hard, and it's good to start a tournament not behind the eight ball."
The last time Duval led a tournament was entering the final round in Las Vegas three years ago, where he tied for sixth. His last win came in the 2001 British Open, and the 64 was his best since 62 at the FBR Open in 2003.
Starting his round at No.10, Duval had four consecutive birdies starting at the par-3 17th.LPGA stars clash
WEST PALM BEACH - Hee-Won Han shot 5-under 67 for the first-round lead at the ADT Championship but was overshadowed by disputes between Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam.
After Sorenstam, who shot 69, hit to about 6 feet at 16, she asked if she could fix an apparent pitch mark. Creamer, who shot 68, believed it was a scuff mark made by spikes, which can't be fixed.
When Sorenstam called for a rules official, Creamer told her to fix it then turned her back as Sorenstam did so. Sorenstam missed the putt.
At 18, Sorenstam hit a 4-wood that carried to the right. There was no splash, and they found the ball inside the red hazard line. Creamer believed the ball was over the water during its entire flight, meaning Sorenstam would hit her third shot from the tee. Rules official Janet Lindsay ruled for Sorenstam, who was allowed a drop but made double bogey.
"We're standing 220 yards away, and we're talking about inches," Sorenstam, 35, said.
Creamer, 19, stared hard at her as Sorenstam spoke to reporters and later had an animated discussion with Lindsay and LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens. She said there were no hard feelings.
"It was her word versus my word," Creamer said. "It's her conscience."
PEBBLE BEACH INVITATIONAL: Tom Purtzer shot 9-under 63 to lead Jim Thorpe, Hunter Haas and Peter Tomasulo by two after the first round of the event with PGA, LPGA, Champions and Nationwide players. Purtzer had seven birdies and an eagle.
WORLD CUP: England's David Howell and Luke Donald shot 13-under 59, two off the record and one better than India's Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal and Australia's Mark Hensby and Peter Lonard, in better ball in Vilamoura, Portugal. The event alternates between better ball and alternate shot. Americans Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson were 6 under through 11 but bogeyed the par-5 12th and shot 66.
PGA GRAND SLAM: Officials for the event featuring the winners of the year's four majors said they might rotate the site. It has been in Hawaii since 1994. They declined to name potential sites.