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Trophee Lancome
17th - 20th September 1998

Par 71 Prize Money 800,000

First Round Report

Five tie for the lead after the first round


Versailles, France, 17th September 1998 - Australian Stephen Allan shrugged off another bout of inconsistency to move into a five-way tie for the lead after the first round of the Lancome Trophy on Thursday.

The 24-year-old from Melbourne was level on four-under 67 with New Zealander Greg Turner, Spain's Miguel Jimenez, veteran Irishman Eamonn Darcy and Englishman Derrick Cooper.

Allan has missed a succession of cuts in recent weeks, despite his victory in the German Open last month.

The Australian's opening round in Paris was another mixed bag as he sprayed the ball around the course but salvaged his score thanks to some superb putting, including two birdies in the final three holes.

"The score was purely and simply good scrambling," said Allan.

"My putting kept me alive because I didn't hit the ball well at all, just like a lot of events around my win.

"But one swallow doesn't make a summer and nor does one good score make a win, and I'll have to play a whole lot better to still be up there at the end of the week."

Of the big names in the field, Britain's Ian Woosnam was best placed after a 68.

Fellow Briton Colin Montgomerie suffered a recurrence of his old hooking problem and had to settle for a 69, helped by a 30-foot putt on the 18th.

Montgomerie's lengthy finishing putt was about the only thing that went right for him for most of the day, as the 35-year-old Scot missed a succession of greens.

Montgomerie was only one stroke better than the current European money list leader Lee Westwood. The Englishman carded what he described as a "dull" 70 in the morning.

"It was all left, left, left, my same old problem for two years," said Montgomerie. "So I'm going to the range to try to stop hitting it left. At least it's consistent."

The four visiting Americans in Paris failed to trouble the leaders. Defending champion Mark O'Meara blamed his putter for a 70, but praised a "lucky 15-footer" to save par on the last.

Fred Couples called his 70 "decent" and Brad Faxon's 73 was helped by a long birdie putt on the last.

World number two David Duval recovered from an early double-bogey to finish one better than Couples with a 69.

Spain's Severiano Ballesteros, who had his best round of the year to lead this event in the first round last year with a 65, also carded 69.

The two players seeking European Ryder Cup points after switching back to their native tours, Nick Faldo of Britain and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, had mixed fortunes.

Faldo hit back after two opening birdies for a 70, but Parnevik had a wayward 73, one better than a jet-lagged Bernhard Langer of Germany.

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First Round Scores