Originally created 09/10/04

Veteran Sindelar in lead at rain-delayed Canadian



OAKVILLE, Ontario - After waiting five hours for the Canadian Open to get started Thursday, Joey Sindelar made Glen Abbey look like a breeze with 5-under-par 66, giving him a two-shot lead over Pat Perez.

With a five-hour delay because of rain, half of the field did not come close to finishing the first round and four players didn't even get a chance to tee off.

Perez, who is 140th on the PGA Tour money list and is in jeopardy of losing his card, shot 68. Only 10 other players among the early starters managed to break par on a course that was soaked with rain, but still played difficult because of 30 mph gusts and pins tucked atop knobs to avoid standing water.

"It's like throwing a Frisbee out there. I would definitely call today's ball-striking A-plus for me," Sindelar said.

Vijay Singh gets an incomplete. He was among the late starters, and the 41-year-old Fijian had to wait until nearly 6 p.m. before he could play his first tournament as golf's No. 1 player. Two holes into his round, Singh went from the trees into the water, then over the green and wound up with a triple bogey.

He was at 3-over-par after only five holes.

David Duval took another step toward returning from a slump from which some thought he would never recover - not because he shot 71, but because he was upset about it.

"That's a good place to be - not happy about an even par on a day like this," Duval said. "That's a lot of progress from where I was a couple of months ago."

In a moment that also showed he is returning to the Duval of old, some cockiness emerged.

"I don't know of anyone who's hitting the ball as well as I am right now," he said. "Maybe Vijay. I guess he's playing pretty well."

Masters Tournament champion Phil Mickelson started and finished his round with a birdie, but made a mess of it in between in his debut with a new golf ball, driver and fairway metals after signing with Callaway this week. He took a double bogey on No. 8, made five other bogeys and shot 75, matching his highest score of the year.

Some of his Ryder Cup teammates who are tuning up for next week's matches didn't fare much better - Fred Funk (74), Chad Campbell (73), Davis Love III (72), Kenny Perry (71) were among those who finished their round.

GERMAN MASTERS: In Pulheim, Germany, European Ryder Cup player Padraig Harrington, playing days after laser eye surgery, broke his slump with 6-under-par 66 for a one-stroke lead over Alex Cejka.

Harrington, Europe's highest-ranked player at No. 8, took the lead with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. He had five birdies on the back nine.

The Irishman underwent surgery Saturday on his left eye and was playing golf the next day with sharper vision.

Another Ryder Cup player, England's Paul Casey, shared third with five other players and was two strokes off the lead.