Nathan Green fighting for his Tour card in Vegas

Green fighting back

NATHAN GREEN has taken advantage of an enforced layoff to come back to be just one stroke off the lead after the first round of the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Because he missed the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, Green hadn’t made a start on the tour in more than a month.

Back fresh this week at the TPC Summerlin he opened with a bogey free 7-under 64, his career best round in this event and tied for the lowest number he’s posted all year.

Green was in equal second with Charlie Wi behind Venezuelan rookie Jhonattan Vegas and American William McGirt.

“Today it just sort of all clicked a little bit,” Green said. “It’s just one of those days where I sort of drove it a little — just been struggling off the tee and felt like it’s just gone through the rest of the game. And the putting has not been where it needs to be.”

“I made a couple of really nice up-and-downs, but it was just one of those real steady rounds where I just managed to pick up — there’s probably three or four sort of unexpected birdies out there,” Green said. “And yeah, just no mistakes, which was nice. (I had) no bogeys which was pretty unusual.”

The 2009 Canadian Open champion entered this week 178th on the money list and knows his PGA Tour card is in jeopardy.

“It would just be nice to play some good golf; to play well this week and the next three weeks,” Green said. “I would be happy with that. I would like to keep my card, but even if I didn’t, just to play some nice golf, just would take the pressure off.”

Just a stroke behind Green on 6-under were fellow Australians Matt Jones and Rod Pampling, with Steve Elkington an Steven Bowditch on 4-under and Cameron Percy, Greg Chalmers and Aaron Price on 3-under. Michael Sim and Jarrod Lyle were also in the red on 1-under.

PGA Tour Leaderboard

2011 Dunhill Links Championship

In Scotland meanwhile, South African Louis Oosthuizen, Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Austrlian Markus Brier and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey share the lead after the first round of the Dunhill Links Championship.

The iconic event sees golfers split their four rounds between the famous St Andrews course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

The leading quartet were sitting at 6-under, one ahead of a group of six golfers that includes Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer were in a group on 4-under, with Charl Schwartzel 3-under and Rory McIlroy a further stroke back.

Daniel Gaunt was the best of the Australians at three under, with Andrew Dodt 2-under and Marcus Both 1-under.

Both these events are being telecast in Australia on Fox Sports.

2011 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

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