DALY gets hole-in-one, leads with 63

Thursday, August 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ John Daly had a hole-in-one on the way to a 9-under-par 63 Thursday as he took an early three-stroke lead in the BMW International Open.

Daly's ace came at the 153-yard (46 m) 12th, his third hole after he started at the 10th. He hit a 9-iron which bounced a foot behind the hole and spun back in.

The American also had seven birdies.

``It wasn't one of those rounds with a lot of 30-footers (9 m),'' he said. ``It was just a lot of good solid iron shots into the greens. I hit it as solid as I can but I have to keep working with the putter. It still doesn't know what I'm going to do.''

Daly's lowest-ever start overshadowed the battle for final places on the European Ryder Cup team.

Sergio Garcia, guaranteed to be a wild card pick but seeking to win the tournament to get onto the team automatically, shot a 5-under 67.

``I probably missed eight opportunities inside 10 feet (3 m) for birdies,'' Garcia said.

The Spaniard botched a 2-footer at the 10th, his first hole. But he birdied the 4th from 12 feet (3.6 m), struck a good 4-iron approach to five feet (1.5 m) for a birdie at the next, chipped in from 20 yards (18 m) to eagle the 6th, and birdied the long 9th.

Ian Woosnam, who could play his way into consideration for the other wild card spot with a high finish, compiled a 69. Garcia's fellow-Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, also in the running, managed only a 70.

Woosnam is 16th and Olazabal 18th in the team standings. The top 10 at the end of play Sunday qualify automatically.

Garcia is 19th but European captain Sam Torrance said Wednesday the Spaniard was assured of a wild-card selection _ ``even if he shoots 95-95 this week.''

Among the other hopefuls, 13th-placed Andrew Oldcorn shot a 67 to keep his hopes alive, but Ian Poulter of England, who is 11th, had a 1-over 73.

Welshman Phillip Price, No. 10 on the list, was playing later Thursday along with a lot of other big names.

Two Swedes assured of making Cup debuts, British Open runner-up Niclas Fasth and Pierre Fulke, shot 67 and 69, respectively.

Roger Wessels of South Africa and Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe were tied for second at 6-under, while others at 5-under included Stephen Gallacher of Scotland, Justin Rose of England, Macr Farry of France and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina.