Round 1 Notebook: Allianz Championship

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February 10, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

Weather: Mostly cloudy and warm with intermittent showers early in the day before clearing with occasional sun breaks in the afternoon. Highs were in the upper 70s with winds from the SE at 5-10 mph with occasional higher gusts. The course received a quarter-inch of rain in the morning.

Current Leaderboard: 1 -- Corey Pavin (64/-8); T2 -- Peter Senior, Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer (66/-6); T5 -- Chip Beck, Mark Brooks, Mark Calcavecchia, John Huston (67/-5); T9 -- 6 Players tied at 4-under-par 68.

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Corey Pavin just missed matching his career low on the Champions Tour on Friday, firing an 8-under 64. His career low was a 9-under 63 in the second round of the 2010 Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Fred Funk got his 2012 season off to a great start with his 6-under 66. It was his first start in a Champions Tour event since last July's U.S. Senior Open in Toledo, Ohio. Funk was sidelined for the second half of the season after undergoing surgery on his left thumb and right knee in early August. He later had a second operation on his thumb in November when he re-injured it while practicing.

• Playing just minutes from his home in Boca Raton seems to bring out the best in Bernhard Langer. The 2010 champion, Langer opened with a 6-under 66 Friday. It marked the fifth consecutive year Langer had started this tournament with a round in the 60s. In addition to his 2010 victory here, he was also third a year earlier.

• Perhaps 2012 will be Peter Senior's year in the Allianz Championship. Senior was the 36-hole leader a year ago before closing with a 5-over-par 77 which left him T17. He opened with a 6-under-par 66 on Friday.

Fred Funk wasn't the only player returning from injury. Andy Bean was sidelined since being involved with an auto accident last July near his home in Lakeland, Fla. Bean shot a 2-over-par 74 to open his 2012 season.

• John Huston posted a 5-under-par 67 in his first appearance in this event. Huston won seven times on the PGA TOUR with five of those coming in the state of Florida. He won the Honda Classic (1990), Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic (1992), Doral-Ryder Open (1994), National Car Rental Golf Classic/Disney (1998) and the Tampa Bay Classic (2000).

• In conjunction with his sponsor, Allianz Life Insurance, defending champion Tom Lehman and Allianz will donate $1,000 for every birdie the defending champion makes at this year's event, with the money earmarked for the southern Florida chapters of Junior Achievement and the Alzheimer's Association. Allianz Life partners with Junior Achievement and the Alzheimer's Association in the Twin Cities because of their focus on organizations that support improving financial literacy and providing services to seniors. For every birdie Lehman makes, Allianz Life will donate $500 each to the southern Florida chapters of Junior Achievement and the Alzheimer's Association. Lehman made three birdies in Friday's opening round of 1-under-par 71.

John Cook recorded his 13th consecutive sub-par round in 13 starts in this tournament when he opened with a 1-under-par 71.

Peter Senior, Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer, Chip Beck, Mark Calcavecchia, John Huston, Mike Goodes, David Frost, Jay Don Blake, Lonnie Nielsen and Chien Soon Lu all posted bogey-free rounds.

Curtis Strange had one of the day's most up-and-down rounds. Strange posted a 2-under 70 on Friday and his round included six birdies, an eagle and three double bogeys.

• Hole No. 18 was again the easiest on the course with an average score of 4.370 (-.630). The hole yielded four eagles and 48 birdies. It was third easiest finishing hole on the Champions Tour in 2011. Hole No. 5 was the most difficult with an average score of 4.210 (+.210). There were just two birdies -- Gary Hallberg and Jay Sigel.

• The field finished with a scoring average of 70.975 with 50 players in the 81-man field finishing with a round under par. A total of 25 players posted rounds in the 60s.

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