Senden is up down under

The Associated PressDecember 7, 2012 

— Australia’s John Senden shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday in calm morning conditions at The Lakes to take a two-stroke lead in the Australian Open.

Englishman Justin Rose was second along with Australians Kim Felton, Brendan Jones and Richard Green and New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison.

Adam Scott opened with a 72. After practicing with a traditional putter during the week, the Australian used his usual broom-handle model that he anchors to his chest — a technique expected to be banned in 2016.

Tom Watson, playing his first start in the event since winning in 1984, had a 78 in windy afternoon conditions.

Schwartzel leads in Thailand

At Chon Buri, Thailand, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Thailand Golf Championship.

Schwartzel had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at Amata Spring.

Masters champion Bubba Watson opened with a 68.

Feng up by four

At Dubai, United Arab Emirates, China’s Shanshan Feng opened a four-stroke lead in the Dubai Ladies Masters, shooting a 7-under 65 in the second round.

Feng, the LPGA Championship winner in June, had a 13-under 131 total at Emirates Golf Club in the Ladies European Tour’s season-ending event.

Defending champ Lexi Thompson was 7 under after a 68.

Rain delays Nelson Mandela Championship

At Durban, South Africa, rain has washed out play until today for the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship. The event opens the 2013 European Tour season.

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