Friday notebook: AT&T ChampionshipOctober 26, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Variably cloudy with isolated showers. A front moved through the area in the morning producing cooler than normal temperatures. Highs were only in the upper-50s with NNE winds at 15-25 mph. Play was stopped by a series of thunderstorms at 10:27 a.m. and resumed at 1:45 p.m. A total of .7 inches of rain fell on the course during the suspension. Play was stopped for the day by darkness at 6:41 p.m. with 33 players left on the course to complete their first round on Saturday morning.
• Mark Calcavecchia, a runner-up at the AT&T Championship last year and winner earlier this year at the Montreal Championship, braved adverse conditions to post a 5-under 67 on Friday, good enough for a two-stroke lead over Kenny Perry when play was halted by darkness. With winds gusting to 25 mph and temperatures only reaching the upper 50s, Calcavecchia birdied the first hole and then waited out a 3 hour, 18 minute rain delay before making five birdies on the back nine, including three birdies in a row on Nos. 10-12. "It was one of my better rounds of the year, probably the equivalent of shooting a 62 or 63 at Rock Barn (Greater Hickory Classic), an easier course that we played two weeks ago in better weather conditions. It was a tough day and I certainly didn't expect this kind of a score. I really played well," Calcavecchia said.
• This marks the fifth time in his Champions Tour career that Calcavecchia has been a first-round leader/co-leader and he's never won from this position since turning 50. Earlier this year at the Boeing Classic, Calcavecchia was the first-round leader but finished T4 in Seattle.
• In the 27-year history of the AT&T Championship, just three winners have recorded any round of par/higher -- J.C. Snead (Rd. 2/73/1993), Jim Albus (Rd. 3/73/1994), Phil Blackmar (Rd. 1/72/2009). A total of 13 of the last 16 winners have posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s.
• In the long history of the AT&T Championship, only three first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this event -- Jim Albus (1994), Fred Funk (2006) and Fred Couples (2011). On the 2012 Champions Tour, just three first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win and it hasn't happened since late May when Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship after leading by one after the first round.
• Tom Kite birdied three of his last four holes to get in with a 2-under 70, one of only two sub-par rounds that were posted on Friday. At No. 31 on the current money list, the 62-year-old Kite is currently on the outside looking in his bid to earn a spot in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week. He's $32,506 behind Mark McNulty for the final position. McNulty skied to a 6-over 78 in his opening round today. Kite is also in position to end a long victory drought in his home state. In his illustrious professional career, Kite was 0-103 on the PGA TOUR in the state of Texas and is currently 0-28 in the Lone Star State as a member of the Champions Tour. He finished T2 at the 2009 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
• Australia's Peter Senior is one-under for his first 11 holes in Round 1 this year but more importantly, he's now gone 65 straight holes at the TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course without a bogey. Senior finished fifth last year in San Antonio despite not making a bogey in the 54-hole tournament.
• Kite made his 1,023rd combined TOUR appearance (PGA TOUR/Champions Tour), tying Gay Brewer for ninth place on the all-time list. It was Kite's 310th career start on the Champions Tour. BobbyWadkins made his 993rd combined TOUR start as well, equaling Dave Stockton for 15th place on the all-time list. It was Wadkins' 280th career start on the Champions Tour.
• Gil Morgan's second birdie of the day at the par-3 4th hole was his 272nd at the AT&T Championship, eclipsing Jim Dent's all-time record for most birdies in the event. The 66-year-old Morgan, a winner of 25 Champions Tour events, shot even-par 72 today.
• Today's delay was the sixth weather suspension on the 2012 Champions Tour and the first at this event since the final round of the 1999 event on June 20 when the tournament was played at The Dominion Country Club.
• John Jacobs withdrew after the round due to sickness.
• The second round of the AT&T Championship will start at 8:30 a.m. and players who did not finish Round 1 today will complete their rounds beginning at 9:45 a.m. Players will remain in the same groupings for Round 2 as they had for Round 1.