BryantGolf beats rain to lead at PODS

BryantGolf beats rain to lead at PODS

The Associated Press

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Bart Bryant got his bad shots out of the way early and birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 6-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead among early starters who were lucky to beat the rain in the PODS Championship.

Bryant was thrilled to twice escape with pars through six holes, and he wasn’t paying that much attention to his card until he realized he was 4 under. Then came birdies on two of the toughest holes at Innisbrook, including a 15-foot putt on the 18th, and he found himself atop the leaderboard.

Ernie Els, coming off a victory in the Honda Classic that ended an 0-for-47 drought on the PGA Tour, was part of the afternoon wave that did not finish the first round because of a 2 1/2-hour storm delay. Els made two straight bogeys when he returned to the course, and finished his day with a birdie at No. 11 to return to even par.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, who has not had full status on the PGA Tour since 2006, made good use of his sponsor’s exemption with five birdies that left him one stroke behind with three holes remaining.

John Daly, another player without a card but no shortage of exemptions, was 3 over through 10 holes and still got the biggest buzz. After ducking into a Hooters hospitality tent during the rain delay, he emerged with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as his caddie for the rest of the afternoon. It didn’t help much, as Daly three-putted from the front of the 18th green for another bogey.

Malaysian Open

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – England’s Nick Dougherty birdied 10 of his first 13 holes in a bid for the first 59 in European tour history, then parred the final five for a 10-under 62 and a two-stroke lead in the Malaysian Open.

Dougherty had a string of seven straight birdies the last three holes on the back nine and first four on the front on the 6,972-yard Kota Permai course in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

Enland’s Simon Dyson and Australia’s shot 64s. New Zealand’s Mark Brown, coming off consecutive victories in India in the Asian Tour’s SAIL Open and the co-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic, had a 66. Sweden’s Peter Hedblom, the winner last year at Saujana, also opened with a 66.