Rd. 1 Notes: AT&T ChampionshipOctober 14, 2011
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Sunny and warm with highs in the mid-80s and winds from the SE at 5-10 mph.
• Fred Couples and Steve Lowery share the first-round lead at the 27th annual AT&T Championship following 7-under-par 65s. Nick Price and Hal Sutton fired a 6-under-par 66 and trail by one stroke, while Chien Soon Lu and Tommy Armour III are two back.
• Couples' 7-under-par 65 was his low round on the Champions Tour in 2011. He is playing in his third consecutive Champions Tour event, the first time he has done so this year. He finished T10 at last week's rain-shortened Insperity Championship and was fifth the previous week at the SAS Championship.
• Lowery had two of his best shots on successive holes. He nearly aced No. 13 when his 6-iron lipped out and moments later, he holed an 8-iron from 168 yards for an eagle on the par-4, 14th hole.
• Three of the current players in the top-six own PGA TOUR victories in San Antonio. Sutton won the Westin Texas Open in 1998, Price, the 1992 H.E.B. Texas Open and Armour III, the 2003 Valero Texas Open.
Position Name 2011 Earnings Pos. Rd. 1 26th Hale Irwin $585,203 T28 27th Tommy Armour III $557,992 T5 28th Brad Bryant $550,251 T58 29th Loren Roberts $547,579 T7 30th Tom Pernice Jr. $527,775 T66 31st Bob Gilder $523,310/-$4,465 T66 32nd Mark McNulty $502,207/-$25,568 T38 33rd Fred Funk $494,758/-$33,017 (inj.) 34th Joe Ozaki $491,970/-$35,805 T58 35th Mike Goodes $491,841/-$35,934 T66 36th Hal Sutton $438,126/-$89,649 T3
• The race for one of the coveted spots in the top 30 and a berth in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship continues. Here is how some of the players in positions 26-36 fared on Friday.
• A total of 29 of the current top 30 players on the money list are competing in this event. The lone exception is Kenny Perry, who is not in the field due to the recent passing of his sister.
• A total of 47 players posted sub-par rounds on Friday and the field averaged 71.282 for the round.
• Tom Lehman, the current Charles Schwab Cup points' leader as well as the money leader, shot a 3-under-par 69 and is currently T17. He leads Mark Calcavecchia by 421 points in the Charles Schwab Cup race. Calcavecchia opened with a 4-under-par 68 and is T7.
• Defending champion Rod Spittle opened with a 2-over-par 74 and is T58.
• The most difficult hole on Friday was No. 14 with an average score of 4.218 (+.218), while No. 12 was the easiest at 4.641 (-.359). There were three eagles and 26 birdies. Nos. 5 and 13 were the most difficult to birdie with just five on each one.
• Phil Blackmar, the 2009 champion, shot a 4-under-par 68 and is currently T7. The former University of Texas star resides in Corpus Christi.