Round 1 Notebook: Ensure Classic at Rock BarnOctober 01, 2010
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff
Weather: Mostly sunny and breezy with highs in the low-70s. Winds were from the N at 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Lift, clean and place rules were in effect.
• Rookie Peter Senior eagled the final hole to take sole control of the lead at 7-under-par 65. Senior nailed a 3-wood from 267 yards to within six feet and then sank his eagle putt to take the lead from the trio of Fred Couples, Tom Kite and Bernhard Langer.
• Senior's 7-under-par 65 matched his best round on the Champions Tour in 2010. Earlier this year he shot the same score at the Regions Charity Classic near Birmingham where he shared the first-round lead. He eventually finished T2 at the event, playing all 54 holes without a bogey.
• Senior, Langer and Couples were all making their first appearances at the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn.
• Two of the three players who trail Senior by one stroke are also 1-2 in the Charles Schwab Cup race as well as the 2010 money race. Bernhard Langer currently holds down the top spot in both of those races followed by Fred Couples.
• Defending champion Jay Haas, a two-time winner of the tournament, opened with a 4-under-par 68 and is T10.
• Gary Hallberg and Chien-soon Lu each had a pair of eagles in the opening round. It's the second time this year Lu had a pair of eagles in a round. He also did so in the third round at the Senior British Open. Hallberg played his college golf at Wake Forest, an hour east of the current tournament location.
• Tom Byrum became the latest former PGA TOUR winner to join the Champions Tour. Byrum shot a 2-under-par 70 and is T23.
• A total of 48 players in the 78-player field posted rounds below par and the field averaged 71.154 for the day. It was the highest opening-round average in this event since 2005 when the field averaged 72.293.
• Hole No. 6 was the most difficult with an average score of 4.231 (+.231), while No. 18 was the easiest at 4.500 (-.500). There were four eagles and 32 birdies on No. 18 and just one bogey.
• Gilder made his 166th consecutive start for events he's been eligible for on Friday. The last time Gilder missed a tournament for which he was eligible was at this event in 2004.
• Russ Cochran faces a very difficult road if he hopes to win his third consecutive event. He shot a 4-over-par 76 and is T73.
• Surprisingly, there was just one measured drive over 300 yards (Tom Purtzer/No. 18/310 yards) on the two measured driving holes on Friday.
• Bob Tway had the most birdies in the opening round --- 7.