Round 1 Notebook: Principal Charity ClassicJune 04, 2010
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR staff
Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the mid-80s and winds from the NW at 5-15 mph.
Recap of the Round: Tommy Armour III, making his eighth career appearance on the Champions Tour, got off to his best start since turning 50, carding a bogey-free 8-under 63 on Friday at The Principal Charity Classic. Armour holds a three-stroke advantage over Dan Forsman and Russ Cochran.
• Armour's 8-under 63 is the best first-round score in tournament history and also matched the tournament record for 18 holes. In 2002, John Bland shot 63 in Round 2 and Massy Kuramoto had 63 in the final round of the 2007 event. Scott Simpson had posted the previous-best first round, starting with a 7-under 64 on Friday in 2006. Simpson ended up finishing T33 that year.
• Armour enjoys a three-stroke lead after 18 holes, the biggest opening-round lead ever at this event. In 2001, Gil Morgan had a two-stroke lead and in 2004, D.A. Weibring was two shots ahead after the first round. Morgan finished second in the inaugural event, while Weibring went on to record a wire-to-wire victory.
• First-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win just three of the first 10 Champions Tour events this year. In the previous nine events here in Des Moines, only three first-round leaders/co-leaders went on to win -- D.A. Weibring (2004), Tom Jenkins (2005) and Jay Haas (2007).
• The field averaged 70.744 for the opening round of this year's event. Last year's first-round scoring average was 71.329 and two years ago, the first-round stroke average was 71.231. A total of 36 players posted sub-par rounds today compared to 32 sub-par scores on Friday in 2009 and 34 in 2008. The all-time best first-round scoring average at Glen Oaks was 70.038 on Friday in 2006. There were 273 birdies made today compared to 262 birdies on Friday last year.
• The most difficult hole in Round 1 was the par-4 13th (4.256), yielding just two birdies (Forsman, David Frost). The easiest hole was the par-5 9th (4.359), yielding one eagle (Ken Schall) and 51 birdies.
• Fred Couples, the only player with three victories on the Champions Tour through the first 10 events of the season, shot 1-under 70 in his first round at The Principal Charity Classic. It marked only the second time this year, he hasn't started a Champions Tour event with a round in the 60s (71-Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am). Couples had 34 putts today, the second-most he's ever had in a round on the Champions Tour. He had 35 putts in Round 3 of last week's Senior PGA Championship. Twenty-seven-years ago tomorrow, Couples won the Kemper Open in a playoff, the first of his 15 PGA TOUR titles.
• Nick Price's 4-under 67 was his seventh straight sub-par round and sixth consecutive score in the 60s at Glen Oaks Country Club. Price has opened with a sub-par score in all nine of his stroke-play events this year and is a cumulative 34-under-par in Round 1 this year. Price comes into this week's Principal Charity Classic having been among the top-10 in six of his last seven tournaments, including a victory with Mark O'Meara at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
• Armour, Mike Reid and Gary Hallberg had the only bogey-free rounds today... Bernhard Langer had the fewest putts (23)... Cochran hit all 18 greens in regulation and now has a streak of 28 straight greens hit in regulation dating back to last week's Senior PGA Championship... Olin Browne and Corey Pavin hit all 14 fairways.
• Today's attendance at The Principal Charity Classic was a Friday tournament record. More than 21,000 people watched the first round of the event, approximately 2,000 more than on Friday last year.