Davis seizes Valspar first-round lead

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PALM HARBOR, US: Brian Davis chipped in for birdie at his last hole on Thursday (Friday in Manila) for a six-under-par 65 and a one-shot lead after the first round of the US PGA Tour Valspar Championship

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The Englishman, a two-time winner on the European Tour, had Americans Sean O’Hair and Ricky Barnes hot on his heels.

Sweden’s world number three Henrik Stenson, Alex Cejka of Germany, Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge and Americans Justin Thomas, Derek Ernst and Nicholas Thompson shared fourth on four-under 67.

Cejka is coming off a playoff victory on Sunday in the Puerto Rico Open.

Davis, seeking his first victory on the US tour, had stumbled late with bogeys at his 16th  and 17th holes, the seventh and eighth at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course.

He regained sole possession of the lead when he chipped in from 25 feet.
Davis had started strong with five birdies in his first nine holes.

He got to seven-under with birdies at the par-five fifth and par-four sixth, but three-putted for bogey at the seventh before a bogey at the par-three eighth, where he was unable to get up and down after missing the green.

He was just off the green at his closing hole, but got out of trouble with a perfectly judged chip.

O’Hair set an early target with a 66 that included eight birdies and three bogeys.
The 32-year-old, who won this title in 2008, is seeking his first victory since the 2011 Canadian Open.

AFP

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