Friday notebook: Greater Gwinnett ChampionshipApril 19, 2013
By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff
Weather: The start of the tournament was delayed for four hours as a front moved through the area, producing a steady rain in the morning and eventually, cooler temperatures in the afternoon. Play eventually started at 3:00 p.m. after the course absorbed 4/10 of an inch of rain and lift, clean and place conditions were utilized. Temperatures at the start of the day were in the low-70s but at the time of the suspension, temperatures had fallen into the mid-40s. The first round was suspended for the day due to darkness at 8:05 p.m. with 57 players left to complete their opening round.
-- It took four extra hours to get underway but for the first time since 2000, the Champions Tour was back in the Atlanta area. Bart Bryant and David Frost share the lead over six other players just past the halfway mark in the first round. Bryant, a rookie on the 2013 Champions Tour, managed to post 68 while Frost made birdie at No. 4, his 13th hole of the day, to forge a tie. Bryant has had some previous success in the Atlanta area in his professional career, winning the 2005 TOUR Championship on the PGA TOUR at East Lake Golf Club just south of the city.
-- First-round leaders have won twice in the first five Champions Tour events in 2013 and in both instances, the player went on to record a wire-to-wire victory (Bernhard Langer—ACE Group Classic, David Frost—Toshiba Classic).
-- For the second consecutive event on the Champions Tour, preferred lies were needed for a round. At the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, preferred lies were utilized in Round 2 after rain fell on the course on Friday evening. Today marked the first time since last year’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic that the start of a Champions Tour event was delayed.
-- John Huston withdrew from the tournament just before his scheduled tee time with a bad back and was replaced in the field by Chip Beck.
-- Bruce Fleisher made the first birdie in Greater Gwinnett Championship history (No. 2) while John Cook made the first eagle (13th hole).
-- After the first round is completed on Saturday morning, the players will begin second-round play. The first round restarts at 8:00 a.m. and the second round will begin on schedule at 11:00 a.m. Players will again go off both the 1st and 10th tees.
-- Due to the inclimate weather today, anyone with Friday tickets to the Greater Gwinnett Championship will be able to also use them on either Saturday or Sunday.