Trio share first round China lead
Dougherty did not have a bogey on his card on his way to an eight-under 64
SHANGHAI, China -- British pair Nick Dougherty and Paul Lawrie recorded eight-under-par 64s to lead Tiger Woods by a stroke after the opening round of the Champions Tournament.
Australian Peter O'Malley was also at eight-under, as was world No.1 Woods until he found a sand trap and bogeyed his final hole to drop into a four-way tie for fourth place.
O'Malley made seven straight birdies from the 16th while Dougherty capped his own blemish-free round with an eagle on 18 to tie his best tournament score.
Former British Open champion Lawrie, who only received an invitation to play in the tournament last week, birdied the 18th hole despite a violent cloudburst to tie Dougherty and O'Malley.
Dougherty won his first title at the Singapore Masters in January and the Nick Faldo protege sounded a warning to his idol Woods after his sizzling round in Shanghai.
"It would be a dream scenario to have a crack at him on Sunday," said the 23-year-old. "I would love it. I idolise Tiger. He's everything I want to be."
Woods was joined on seven-under by Britain's David Howell, South Korean K.J. Choi and Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen.
Playing his first official tournament in China, Woods carded 10 birdies but was left shaking his head when his tee shot on the par-four ninth -- his final hole -- plugged in a sand trap.
"I've never seen anything like it," said the 10-times major winner, who failed to save par after his bunker shot spun off the green.
"I hit a three wood into the middle of the bunker and buried it. That's not something I'm used to seeing -- not off the tee."
Lawrie, who won the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie, made the most of his sponsor's invitation with a bogey-free round.
"I would have been at home, taking the kids to school and just sort of chilling out this week," said the Scot. "It's the best start I've ever made to a season."
The Champions Tournament is the official start to the 2006 European Tour, co-sanctioning the event with the Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australian and the South African Sunshine Tour.
O'Malley last won a tournament in 2002 but said he felt confident about breaking his three-year drought in China this week.
"I sort of work on about a four or five-year stretch," said the Australian whose last European Tour victory came at the 2001 English Open. I won in '92, '95, and '01, so, yeah I think I'm sort of getting around to that time."
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand carded a 66 while Fiji's world number two Vijay Singh opened with a 67 in the richest event ever to be staged in Asia.
European number one Colin Montgomerie had a frustrating 74 playing alongside Woods and stomped off the ninth green grumbling to himself after a double-bogey.
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