Elkington turns back the clock 10 years - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elkington turns back the clock 10 years

By Andrew Both 12/08/2005 06:01:32 AM Comments (0)

Steve Elkington said before the US PGA Championship that he was playing well, and he backed up his words with an impressive opening round.

Ten years after hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy, Elkington turned back the clock to card two-under-par 68 on the punishing Baltusrol course.

"I had a dream start," said the 42-year-old Houston-based Australian, who was three under after four holes.

"I couldn't be more pleased. I've always played well at the PGA. It's nice to have your name on that big trophy before you tee off."

He fared considerably better than Tiger Woods, whose chances of collecting a third major trophy this year nosedived with a miserable five-over 75, his worst opening round score in a major in relation to par.

It wasn't a great morning for the other early Australian starters. Peter Lonard was challenging for the lead until he dropped three shots in his final seven holes for a one-over 71.

Further back were Rod Pampling on 73, Robert Allenby and Craig Parry (76) and Richard Green (79).

Elkington's performance was not exactly a surprise. He has played solidly this year without threatening to win, and is more dangerous on tougher courses where you can't afford to hit errant shots.

"You've got to drive so well here," he continued. "You've got to be straight and the hard part is you don't get a breather (because there are no easy holes)."

Elkington was the last Australian to win a major, and the longer the drought drags on, the better that victory looks in the rear view vision mirror.

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