Putting woes haunt Danny Lee at Olympic opening round

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NZN

The last thing Danny Lee wanted to bring with him to Rio was his wayward putting form.

Danny Lee of New Zealand at Olympic Games.

Danny Lee of New Zealand at Olympic Games.

Source: Associated Press

It made an unwelcome appearance as he and Kiwi compatriot Ryan Fox found themselves in the middle of the pack after the first round of Olympic golf in 112 years.

Lee shot an opening one-over 72 to be 34th in the 60-man field while Fox produced a more colourful round of 70 to be 17th.

Australian Marcus Fraser carded what he described as the round of his life with his eight-under 63, to be three clear of Canadian Graham DeLaet and the highest-ranked golfer in the field, Swedish world No.5 Henrik Stenson.

Five golfers are on four-under, including Briton Justin Rose, who produced what is believed to be the first Olympic hole in one at the fourth.

Fraser birdied five of his first six holes, shooting nine in total.

The Asian Tour-based 38-year-old is only playing because of the withdrawal from the tournament of several leading Australians, including Jason Day and Adam Scott.

Lee, the 12th-ranked player in a weakened field, was disappointed not to make the most of his chances on a good course that offered plenty of opportunities.

"It's really easy out here. I couldn't hit it any better than I did today," he said.

"But I've been struggling with my putter for a long time.

"I thought I had put enough work into it the last couple of weeks but obviously it wasn't enough."

US PGA Tour regular Lee mixed one birdie with two bogeys while Europe-based Fox compiled five birdies and four bogeys, picking up shots on the 15th and 16th holes to end his round on a high but seven strokes off the lead.

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