Golf: Owen simply awesome

A STRONG finish from Greg Owen put the Englishman in contention at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans but Sergio Garcia is facing a fight to avoid a second missed cut in a row at TPC Louisiana.

Owen, who was joint leader halfway through last week's Verizon Heritage before falling down the leaderboard over the weekend, fired an opening five-under-par 67 at Avondale. That was good enough to put him in a five-way tie for second, two shots off American Jason Bohn.

Florida resident Owen had been level par after nine holes having started at the tenth hole, giving back two early birdies with bogeys at the par-four 16th and par-five 18th holes.

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Owen put his foot down on his inward nine, sending down five birdies and no bogeys for his 67.

World No.23 Garcia had found himself teeing off as the highest-ranked player in the field after the withdrawals of world No.3 Steve Stricker and No.6 Ian Poulter, due to a right shoulder and left knee injury respectively.