Journeyman Jim McGovern conquered some long-standing putting problems with a late rush that took him to the lead in the first round of the Honda Classic.
McGovern, who ranked 158th in putting last season and was 148th this year, oneputted the last three holes in a bogey-free round of 6-under-par 65 that put him ahead of an international band of challengers.
Chief among them was Nick Faldo, the Englishman who won last weekend in Miami and finished with a 4-under-par 67 in the gusty, blustery winds that swept the rain-soaked Weston Hills course.
Also well within reach were Canada’s Dave Barr at 67, former Masters champ Ian Woosnam of Wales at 68 and Vijay Singh of Fiji and Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, both at 69.
Kim Williams and Karen Noble each fired 5-under-par 67s to earn a share of the first-round lead at the $450,000 PingWelch’s LPGA Championship in Tucson, Ariz.
Last year’s Player of the Year, Beth Daniel, was third (68) while Danielle Ammaccapane and last week’s winner, Barb Thomas, were tied for fourth (69).