Round 1 notes: Mitsubishi Electric ChampionshipJanuary 18, 2013
By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff
KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii -- Nearly six weeks after claiming the MCB Tour Championship on the European Senior Tour’s stop on the island of Mauritius, David Frost showed no sign of a layoff, posting a 7-under-par 65 on Friday to grab the opening-round lead at the Mitsubishi Championship at Hualalai.
-- Frost’s round included an eagle, six birdies and just one bogey to give him a one-stroke lead over six players, including the 2012 Champions Tour Player of the Year Tom Lehman.
-- Frost finished T4 at last fall’s Pacific Links Championship on Oahu where he posted three consecutive rounds in the 60s at the Kapolei Golf Course.
-- Frost also extended his streak of consecutive holes without a three-putt to 218 dating back to 2012.
-- Since moving to Hualalai in 1997, seven first-round leaders/co-leaders have managed to go on to victory, including Bernhard Langer (2009) and Tom Watson (2010) in two of the last four years.
-- Kirk Triplett had just one bogey at No. 18 and it cost him a share of the first-round lead as well as preventing him from posting a third straight 65 in Hawaii. Triplett, the Champions Tour’s 2012 Rookie of the Year, shot consecutive rounds of 65 on the weekend at last fall’s Pacific Links Championship where he eventually finished 14th, rebounding from an opening-round 78.
-- Steve Elkington shot a 4-under-par 68 in his Champions Tour debut. He was a 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including a pair of THE PLAYERS Championships (’91, ’97) and a PGA Championship (’95). Should Elkington win on Sunday, he would become the 16th player to win his Champions Tour debut and the first since Tom Pernice, Jr. in 2009 at the SAS Championship.
-- Seven players have claimed this championship in their first appearance. Loren Roberts (2006) was the last to do so. Others to accomplish the feat are John Jacobs (1999), John Bland (1996), George Archer (1990), Dave Hill (1988), Peter Thomson (1985) and Orville Moody (1984).
-- Defending champion Dan Forsman shot a 1-over-par 73 and is currently T34.
-- John Cook, the 2011 winner of this event, shot a 6-under-par 66, his seventh consecutive round in the 60s at Hualalai. In 16 rounds at this course, Cook has finished with a round in the 60s a total of 15 times. The lone blemish came in his final round in 2010 when he shot an even-par 72.
-- Tom Kite, Kenny Perry and D.A. Weibring all had 10 one-putt greens to lead all players in that category. Kite had seven one-putts on the front nine.
-- Sixty-five-year-old Larry Nelson sat atop the leaderboard at various time on Friday before a pair of bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17 dropped him off the pace. Nelson, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, finished at 3-under-par 69 and is T15. Nelson won this event in 2001.
-- Hale Irwin, a two-time victor at this tournament and the winner of nine official titles in the state, shot a 2-under-par 70 on Friday. Irwin is making his 18th consecutive start in this event, the most by any player.
-- Fred Couples and Tom Lehman each hit 17 of 18 Greens in Regulation on Friday.
-- Lehman has led the Champions Tour in that category each of the last two years.
-- After finishing 1-over-par on the front nine, Watson, the 2010 champion, finished 4-under on the back nine, including one of four eagles on No. 10. He enters Saturday’s second round T15.
-- The field averaged 69.550, a shade below the 2012 average of 69.610. A total of 21 players finished with rounds in the 60s compared to 23 a year ago and 32 of 40 entrants finished under par.
-- The most difficult hole on Friday was No. 9 with an average score of 4.225 (+.225), while No. 11 was the second hardest at 4.125 (+.125). The easiest was No. 18 4.150 (-.850). There were 4 eagles and 27 birdies and eight pars. There was just one bogey on the hole.