Grand Slam of Golf
Jim Furyk found his groove Friday during the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jim dandy on first day

POIPU BEACH, Hawaii (AP) -- U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk opened with a 5-under-par 67 Friday to take a five-stroke lead over Masters champion Mike Weir in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

British Open champion Ben Curtis shot a 73 and PGA champion Shaun Micheel had a 75 in the 36-hole event for the winners of this year's four majors.

It was the first event in the Grand Slam's 21-year history featuring all first-time major champions.

Furyk was down a stroke when he took command in the middle of the round. After sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on the 405-yard ninth hole to tie Weir, Furyk birdied three of the next five holes to open a three-stroke advantage.

An 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 No. 10 gave Furyk his first lead.

His round included six birdies and one bogey, which came on the 209-yard No. 3 when his tee shot found the right-side rough underneath a tree.

Furyk, a part-time Maui resident, used his knowledge of the Hawaiian tradewinds that blew 15-20 mph. His accurate drives put him in good position, hitting 10 of his first 13 fairways.

He putted just 29 times during the round, including 12 times on the back nine.

Weir and Furyk were at 35 at the turn and shared a three-stroke lead over Curtis.

Weir, the first Canadian to win a major, was steady all day, parring 16 holes. He had six pars before sinking an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventh. The birdie gave Weir a one-stroke advantage before Furyk regained the lead. Weir's bogey on No. 17 gave Furyk a four-stroke lead.

The quartet battled damp and breezy conditions at the 7,081-yard oceanside Poipu Bay Golf Course on the south shore of Kauai. The weeklong rains softened the greens and soaked the rough.

The gallery was notably smaller from previous years with the absence of five-time defending champion Tiger Woods.

Poipu, designed around several ancient Hawaiian worship sites, features 86 bunkers and seven water hazards. The scenic course has a backdrop of the lush, green, rugged mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Curtis, 26, the youngest participant in the field, tried all day to try and get back at even par after bogeying three times on the front nine. He had birdies on the par-4 Nos. 5 and 15.

Micheel ran into trouble early when hit twice to get out of the bunker on the 380-yard No. 4 and recorded a double bogey. His two birdies were on Nos. 11 and 18.

Last year, Woods won his fifth straight Grand Slam title, finishing with a tournament-record 11-under 61. He had a record 17-under 127 total for a 14-stroke victory over Davis Love III and Justin Leonard.

This year's winner will receive $400,000 from the $1 million purse.

Other Items
  • 20 questions (12/1/03) — When was the last time Masters champion Mike Weir paid for a golf ball? Or what's Jim Furyk's favorite golf hole, Ben Curtis' dream foursome, or Shaun Micheel's favorite club? Find out in our exclusive 20 Questions with this year's PGA Grand Slam participants and caddies.
  • Scaling golf's major mountains (12/1/03) — Four times a year golf's best gather to try and climb that final rung to greatness on the ladder that will define their career. Jim Huber, Turner Sports' Emmy Award-winning essayist, examines what separates a major champion from the rest.
  • Left alone to flourish (12/1/03) — When Mike Weir was a promising junior in his native Canada, he wrote a letter to the great Jack Nicklaus asking if a young left-hander should try to learn the game right-handed. The Golden Bear wrote back, and the advice he offered made Weir a Masters champion.
  • Furyk finds home in Hawaii (12/1/03) — Considering the career success he's enjoyed in Hawaii -- two wins and nearly $2 million in winnings since he joined the PGA Tour in 1994 -- it should come as no surprise that U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and his wife built a second home on the island of Maui.

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