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Olazabal, Westwood Share Golf Lead

November 30, 2000

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) _ Jose-Maria Olazabal and Lee Westwood shot 65s and shared the lead Thursday after the first round of the Nedbank Challenge, which offers $2 million for finishing first.

Defending champion Ernie Els, who shot a 66, said Westwood would be tough to beat.

``He is playing with extraordinary confidence. It’s almost like Tiger Woods,″ Els said. ``When a guy who plays as well as he does starts playing with confidence, you better look out. He is the guy most likely to step up and win a major next year.″

Westwood had two bogeys in his round.

``But for those two dropped shots, it was a great round,″ he said. ``I hope the course gets a little harder as it dries out from the rain because I really think I can get better all the time on it.″

Olazabal put his driving woes behind him. He made great tee shots and putted well on a course that demands accuracy.

``I birdied all the par 5s, for a change,″ he said, ``and I hit a lot of fairways.″

Darren Clarke birdied the first three holes and had three other birdies. But he bogeyed two holes and finished with a 4-under-par 68.

Colin Montgomerie and Nick Price were tied at 69, with Thomas Bjorn and Stuart Appleby a shot back.

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