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GOLF Three share lead in Honda Classic



Published: Mon, March 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Jeff Brehaut shot 63 just three days after having his clubs stolen.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Jeff Brehaut spent three frantic days trying to replace his stolen golf clubs before the Honda Classic.

He didn't have to scramble nearly as much in the first round of the tournament.

Brehaut shot a 9-under 63 at The Country Club at Mirasol on Thursday, giving him a share of the lead with Justin Leonard and Notah Begay III when play was suspended because of lightning.

"I guess it would be hard to complain," said Brehaut, a 39-year-old father of two who retained his tour card by winning the qualifying tournament in December.

Brehaut might need three similar rounds to win his first PGA Tour title.

The leaders were on pace to break the tour scoring record for 72 holes, which is 31-under, set by Ernie Els this year in the season-opening Mercedes Championships. Esteban Toledo, John Senden and Jim Furyk were one stroke back.

Playing a relatively short course that measures 7,157 yards and has fast fairways, well-manicured greens and little wind -- the course's only defense -- more than 30 players were at least 5-under.

And the first round hasn't even been completed. Nearly 40 player were on the course when play was halted Thursday afternoon. They were scheduled to finish the opening round this morning.

LPGA

TUCSON, Ariz. -- By the third hole of the Welch's-Fry's Championship, Lorie Kane knew she made the right choice about tossing out everything but last year's putter.

It was the holdover putter -- and Kane's knack of reading greens -- that led her to a career-low 9-under-par 61 in the first round of the LPGA Tour's season opener.

"When you change equipment and spend some time playing around with things, you always wonder: 'Did I make the right decision?' " Kane said. "I think I did."

The Canadian eagled the third hole with a 40-foot putt, added two more birdies before the turn and finished the round with five consecutive birdies to move one shot ahead of Tonya Gill and A.J. Eathorne.

Pat Hurst, Young Kim and Beth Bader had 63s, and Meg Mallon, Deb Richard, Marnie McGuire and Christina Kim shot 64s.

Laura Davies, who won the Australian Ladies Masters last month, and 1998 champion Helen Alfredsson were part of a 13-player cluster four shots off the pace.




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