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CHAMP News: Miguel Angel Jimenez uses late surge to take TimberTech lead

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain birdied his last four holes to post a 5-under-par 67 and take the first-round lead at the TimberTech Championship on Friday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Jimenez birdied two par-3 holes, the 15th and 17th, at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club before the finishing flourish at the par-5 18th. It was enough for a one-shot lead over Rod Pampling of Australia and Paul Goydos.

The tournament is the penultimate leg of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, and Jimenez was in fifth place entering the week. He’s projected to rise to third if the results from Friday were to hold firm. Steven Alker of New Zealand has a healthy lead in the standings, with Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in second.

Jimenez made consecutive bogeys at Nos. 5-6 and shot even par on the front nine before five birdies on the back nine.

Pampling also made a late surge with birdies at Nos. 14, 16, 17 and 18 around a bogey at No. 15. He closed the day with seven birdies and three bogeys. He credited his putting, along with a chip-in at No. 17.

“Making some good putts,” Pampling said. “You know, fortunate chip-in on 17 and then two-putt 18. Yeah, I rolled really nice on the back nine, and the front as well, so that was definitely key to today.”

Goydos, too, made his move late by birdieing Nos. 13, 16 and 18.

Tom Pernice Jr., Scott McCarron and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson shot 3-under 69 to form a tie for fourth.

Alker was part of a 10-player tie for seventh at 2-under 70, which also featured Germany’s Bernhard Langer, South Africa’s Retief Goosen and Colin Montgomerie of Scotland. Harrington opened with an even-par 72.

–Field Level Media

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