Donald shows early promise
Jones and Watson claim a share in New Orleans
Last Updated: 29/04/11 11:40am
Donald: Strong start in New Orleans
Luke Donald showed no ill-effects from his play-off disappointment at The Heritage with an opening round 68 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Englishman Donald, who missed out on claiming the world number one ranking after his agonising loss to Brandt Snedeker last week, sits joint ninth after round one at TPC Louisiana.
Donald birdied the par-five second and also picked up a shot at the fifth, and consecutive birdies on the last two holes ensured he finished four-under-par for the day.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-6 B Watson
-6 M Jones (Aus)
-5 J Durant
-5 T Gainey
-5 C Pettersson (Swe)
-5 J Rollins
-5 N O'Hern (Aus)
-5 D Duval
Click here for full leaderboard
American Bubba Watson and Australian Matt Jones sit two shots ahead of Donald at the top of the leaderboard.
The 32-year-old Watson, already a winner this year at the Farmers Insurance Open in California in January, stormed into contention for a third career PGA Tour title, although his round began in inauspicious fashion as he bogeyed the par-four first.
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His form picked up with four birdies on the front nine and he followed that up with a birdie at 10, an eagle at the par-five 11th and another birdie at 16, with a bogey at 14 leaving him six-under-par.
He was joined on that mark by Jones, the 31-year-old Sydney-born player firing eight birdies against two bogeys - including a spectacular chip-in from 57 feet at the last.
Six players were in a tie for third at five-under-par, including 2001 Open champion David Duval.
Reigning US Open champion Graeme McDowell carded three double bogeys to finish one-over-par for the day while England's Justin Rose was a further four shots back on the leaderboard.