Round 1 Notebook: U.S. Senior Open

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July 11, 2013

By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

Michael Allen (32-35--67/-3)

-- Making his fourth career appearance in the U.S. Senior Open. Best finish was T6 in 2010 at Sahalee Country Club.

-- Is making his 14th appearance on the 2013 Champions Tour and won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in late March, his fourth career victory on the circuit .

-- Finished T4 two weeks ago in the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and was T5 at the Regions Tradition…Also T20 at the Senior PGA Championship at Bellerive.

-- His 67 today was his best round in a U.S. Senior Open since posting 5-under 66 in Round 1 of the 2011 championship at Inverness.

-- This marks the first time Allen has ever been a leader/co-leader after the first round in a senior major championship.

-- Won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club in his debut on the Champions Tour.

Jay Don Blake (32-35—67/-3)

-- Making his second appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and finished T22 last year at Indianwood Country Club near Detroit.

-- In 13 previous appearances on the 2013 Champions Tour, has been second at both the ACE Group Classic and Principal Charity Classic…Finished T47 at the Senior PGA Championship, T44 at the Regions Tradition and was T36 at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago at Fox Chapel Golf Club near Pittsburgh.

-- His 67 today was his low round in a U.S. Senior Open and marked the third time in the last four rounds on the Champions Tour that he posted 67.

-- Was tied for the first-round lead at the 2010 Senior British Open Championship and eventually finished T3, his best career finish in 19 previous appearances in senior majors.

-- Won three times on the Champions Tour, most recently late last summer at the 2012 Boeing Classic near Seattle.

Fred Funk (34-33---67/-3)

-- Making his seventh appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and won the championship in 2009 at Crooked Stick Golf Club near Indianapolis with a 20-under-par 268 total, a record for most strokes under par over 72 holes.

-- Has played in 13 events on the 2013 Champions Tour and best finish is T2 with partner Mike Goodes at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf…Was T13 at the Senior PGA Championship, T12 at the Regions Tradition and was T18 two weeks ago at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

-- Has now shot 67 four times in his last five rounds at the U.S. Senior Open and has 12 scores in the 60s out of 25 career rounds posted in the championship.

-- Has been a first-round leader/co-leader six other times in his Champions Tour career, including solo leads at the 2008 U.S. Senior Open and 2009 Senior British Open.

-- Has won eight times on the Champions Tour, including major victories a the 2008 JELD-WEN Tradition, 2009 U.S Senior Open and 2010 JELD-WEN Tradition.

Gary Hallberg (35-32—67/-3)

-- Making his sixth appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and best career performance in the event was 14th in 2008…His 67 today was his career-best in the event and was just his fourth round in the 60s in this championship but third consecutive dating back to last year.

-- In 12 previous events on the 2013 Champions Tour, best finish is T17 at the Greater Gwinnett Championship near Atlanta in April…Missed the cut at the Senior PGA Championship, was T57 at the Regions Tradition and was T71 at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

-- Best career performance in 25 previous career appearances in senior majors was second last year at the Senior British Open Championship at Turnberry.

-- Until today, he has never held or shared the first-round lead in an event on the Champions Tour.

-- Lone victory on the Champions Tour came at the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn.

Tom Lehman (35-32—67/-3)

-- Making his fifth appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and finished T2 last year at Indianwood Golf & Country Club.
 
-- His 67 today was his eighth consecutive score of par/better in the U.S. Senior Open dating back to a 69 in the second round at Inverness in 2011.

-- Has finished among the top 10 in five of his 10 previous starts on the 2013 Champions Tour and best effort was a T2 at the Greater Gwinnett Championship in April…Did not play in the Senior PGA Championship, opting to play at the Crowne Plaza Colonial (MC). Also was T22 at the Regions Tradition and T16 at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

-- Has won seven times on the Champions Tour, including major titles at the 2010 Senior PGA Championship and 2011, 2012 Regions Tradition.

-- Today marks the third time Lehman has held at least a share of the first-round lead in a senior major. He led after Round 1 of the 2010 Regions Tradtion and was tied for the lead after Thursday at the 2011 Regions Tradition. On both occasions, Lehman went on to win.

Mark O’Meara (34-33—67/-3)


-- Making his sixth appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and best effort was a runner-up at Inverness in 2011.

-- Has played in 13 events thus far on the 2013 Champions Tour and among his four top-10 finishes is a T3 three weeks ago at the Encompass Championship…Was also T4 at the  Allianz Championship, a T4 with Esteban Toledo at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf and solo fourth at the Senior PGA Championship. In the two other majors on the Champions Tour this year, finished T36 at the Regions Tradition and was T39 last week at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

-- His 67 today was his sixth score in the 60s of 17 rounds played in the U.S. Senior Open.

-- Has won twice on the Champions Tour with his last victory coming at the 2010 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
 
-- Today marks the fourth time in his Champions Tour career that he’s been tied or shared the first-round lead, but the first time he’s been in this position in a major on the circuit.

Kenny Perry (34-33--67/-3)

-- Making his second appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and missed the cut last year at Indianwood Country Club near Detroit.

-- Won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago at Fox Chapel Golf Club, his third career victory on the Champions Tour.

-- Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS was also Perry’s first major title in his 10th career start in a senior major…Earlier this year, was T2 at the Senior PGA Championship, losing a three-shot lead with six holes to play at Bellerive, and was T15 at the Regions Tradition.     

-- Was T41 last week at the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR.

-- Currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup race at the halfway point in the season with 1,508 points.  
-- Today marks only the second time Perry has held a share of the first-round lead on the Champions Tour. At last year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, Perry was tied for the opening-round lead and finished T3.
 
First-Round Statistics at the U.S. Senior Open

-- The seven-way tie for the first-round lead matches the Champions Tour all-time record for largest number of players tied for the lead after 18 holes. It happened most recently at the 2008 JELD-WEN Tradition in Oregon and also at the 1989 GTE North Classic, a 54-hole event. The previous record in a U.S. Senior Open for number of players tied for the first-round lead was five in 1997 at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.

-- The 3-under-par score by the leaders is the highest to par since the 2006 U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club when Dave Barr and Jay Haas matched 3-under 67s.

-- First-round leaders have won just four of the first 12 stroke-play events on the Champions Tour this year. Craig Stadler was the last first-round co-leader to win when he triumphed in Chicago three weeks ago at the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club.  

-- First-round leaders to go on and win the U.S. Senior Open (7): Arnold Palmer (1981), Dale Douglass (1986), Lee Trevino (1990), Simon Hobday (1994), Bruce Fleisher (2001), Peter Jacobsen (2004), Olin Browne (2011).  

-- Last year at the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, Tom Kite lead after the first round with a 5-under 65 on Thursday.

-- Duffy Waldorf, the only player to post top-10 finishes in each of the Champions Tour’s first three majors of the 2013 season, opened with even-par 70 today and is T21 after the first round of the U.S. Senior Open. Waldorf was T6 at the Senior PGA Championship, T5 at the Regions Tradition and T2 two weeks ago at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.    

-- Peter Horrobin became the first player from Jamaica to play in a U.S. Senior Open and he carded an even-par 70 in the opening round today. In the sectional qualifier in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Horrobin carded a 1-under 71, three strokes behind medalist Michael San Filippo and one stroke ahead of alternate Pete Oakley. He defeated Clark Burroughs in a 2-for-1 playoff to punch his ticket to Omaha Country Club.

-- Defending champion Roger Chapman carded a 4-over 74 today. Here’s how the other eight former U.S. Senior Open champions in this year’s field fared on Thursday: Fred Funk/2009 (-3), Bernhard Langer/2010 (-2), Eduardo Romero/2008 (-1), Hale Irwin/1998, 2000 (+4), Don Pooley/2002 (+4), Dave Eichelberger/1999 (+9), Graham Marsh/1997 (+17),  Peter Jacobsen/2004 (WD).

-- Bob Gilder is competing in his 62nd consecutive major championship on the Champions Tour, an all-time record streak. Gilder has played in every major championship since joining the Champions Tour in 2001and his best finish in the previous 61 senior majors was a solo third at the Senior PGA Championship in 2001 and a T3 in the Regions Tradition in 2002. Gilder’s best career performance in a U.S. Senior Open was fifth in 2004 at Bellerive near St. Louis. He started this year’s U.S. Senior Open with an 8-over 78.  

-- Peter Jacobsen withdrew after nine holes with heat-related issues.

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