Toms back – shares Colonial lead

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David Toms has shrugged away his playoff defeat last week to grab a share of the 1st-round lead at the Colonial.

David Toms shrugged away his playoff defeat at last week’s Players Championship and has charged into a share of the first-round lead at the Crown Plaza Invitational.

Four days after missing a par putt from inside four feet and gifting The Players Championship to KJ Choi at the first extra hole at Sawgrass, Toms fired a flawless eight-under-par 62 at Colonial Country Club that has put him in front once again.

Making the most of ideal scoring conditions on soft and forgiving greens, the 44-year-old American used no more than 24 putts in tying for first with compatriot Chez Reavie, who also posted a bogey-free 62.

Compatriot Rickie Fowler briefly took the lead to nine under before double-bogeying his final hole, the par-four ninth, for an opening 63 and third place, a shot off the pace.

Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champion, opened with a 64 to end the day level with fellow American Brian Gay, Australian Nathan Green, South Korean Charlie Wi and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge in joint 4th place.

Defending champion Zach Johnson, who won last year’s Colonial title, is six shots off the pace after opening with a 68 while Australian Adam Scott, chasing a mythical Texas Grand Slam’, shot a 66 to put himself in contention.

Scott is bidding to become the first player to win all four of the PGA Tour events played in Texas, having already won the Houston Open (2007), the Byron Nelson Championship (2008) and the Texas Open (2010).

Twelve-time PGA Tour winner and former PGA Champion Toms was over the Moon with his start here at Colonial after getting do desperately close to coming in from a long spell in the cold and breaking a five-year winless drought

“It was one of those days today where the hole just looked big and I putted extremely well,” he told the media.
“I needed to get off to a good start … not only to help me get past last week, but also in a tournament that I like a lot here at Colonial. I know that I can play well here.”

Toms, who posted identical loops of 31 is not getting ahead of himself even though his confidence was “fairly high”.

“I still need to put four rounds together.” he said.

“I had times back in the early 2000’s where I won by a bunch. I played with the lead a lot of times and was able to maintain it and increase it.

“Until I’m able to do that again, I will still have that doubt,” said Toms, whose last PGA Tour win came in the 2006 Sony Open.

“But I do feel good about my game. If I continue to keep the putter hot, maybe I will have a good stretch here this week.”

Fowler, already a Ryder Cup winner at 22 but still seeking his first PGA Tour title, produced red-hot form after the turn and was one ahead of the field before he found water with his approach at the ninth, double-bogeyed the hole and finished one off the pace..

“It’s a sorry way to finish the round, but I hit it really well and putted well,” said Fowler who fired and eagle and eight birdies but offset them with bogey and a double-bogey.

“I had 125 (yards) to the hole,” he said of his disaster at the last. “I was trying to hit it past the hole to give myself a look at a birdie.

“I hit it a little bit left, pin-high but got a little bit of a tough kick to it, left it in the water and made double.”

Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champion, opened with a 64 to end the day level with fellow American Brian Gay, Australian Nathan Green, South Korean Charlie Wi and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge in joint 4th place.

Defending champion Zach Johnson, who won last year’s Colonial title, is six shots off the pace after opening with a 68 while Australian Adam Scott, chasing a mythical Texas Grand Slam’, shot a 66.

Scott is bidding to become the first player to win all four of the PGA Tour events played in Texas, having already won the Houston Open (2007), the Byron Nelson Championship (2008) and the Texas Open (2010).

Top 10 leaderboard
62 David Toms (US) Chez Reavie (US)
63 Rickie Fowler (US)
64 Brendon De Jonge (Zimbabwe), Stewart Cink (US), Brian Gay (US), Nathan Green (Aus), Charlie Wi (Kor)
65 Rod Pampling (Aus), Mark Wilson (U.S.), John Senden (Aus)

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