Wilkinson on the pace at Utah Championship

Lee struggles at John Deere Classic

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 12:26 13/07/2012

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New Zealand golfer Tim Wilkinson is featuring high on the leaderboard after the first round of the Utah Championship in the United States.

The left-hander has opened the second-tier tour event with a five-under par 66 at the Willow Creek Country Club to be in a share of fifth place, two shots off the lead held by three players.

Wilkinson made the turn at one-under after two birdies and a bogey on the front nine before making four birdies on his way home.

It was a good ball-striking day; he hit 10 of 12 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation as he looks to make a move up the order of merit standings.

The 33-year-old has one top-10 from 13 events on the web.com tour and is currently 49th in the overall standings, requiring a top-25 finish at season's end to earn a ticket to the PGA Tour next year.

Kiwi No 1 Danny Lee did not fare so well today at the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour, a one-under 70 putting him in a share of 84th after the opening round.

Lee had five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on what was a day of low scores at TPC Deere Run in Illinois, and he sits nine shots off the leader, American Troy Matteson, who caught fire with a 10-under 61.

Meanwhile, New Zealand amateur rep Ben Campbell has opened with a one-under par 71 at The Players Amateur at the Hilton Head Golf Club in South Carolina.

The 20-year-old made four birdies and three bogeys on the South Course to be five shots back of the American leader Bobby Wyatt, who opened with a six-under par 66.

Fellow New Zealand rep Mathew Perry, who won the New Zealand Amateur Championship in 2011, signed for a three-over par 75 to be tied 48th, while Royal Auckland golfer Fraser Wilkin, who in May won the Muriwai Open on the Charles Tour, shot a seven-over par 79 to be tied 71st.

The Kiwi golfers are in the US playing in elite amateur events ahead of the naming of the Eisenhower team.

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