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    • Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf off to exciting start

    • Tom Watson and his playing partner Andy North shot a best-ball 5 under at the par-3 Top of the Rock Course. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)Tom Watson and his playing partner Andy North shot a best-ball 5 under at the par-3 Top of the Rock Course. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

    Ridgedale, Missouri – The opening round of the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops featured play on two courses, two rain delays, and two rounds of 49. Back to that 49 in a minute. There is also a two-way tie atop the leaderboard.

    Good friends Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk shot 10-under 62 and had the lead at the end of the day.  The team of Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry matched that score. Both teams are one shot clear of Billy Andrade/Tommy Armour III and Jay Haas/Peter Jacobsen. All four teams played the Buffalo Ridge Springs course on Friday. They will move over to Top of the Rock for Saturday’s competition. All play will be at Top of the Rock on Sunday. This is the first time in PGA TOUR history that an official event has been contested on a par 3 course.

    Sluman was the first round leader at the Legends of Golf last year, where he eventually won with partner Brad Faxon. Funk is happy to be paired with Sluman this year.

    “We’re really good buddies. He’s one of my best buddies out here,” said Funk. “He’s a bulldog out on the golf course. I think we both are. We try to get as much as we can out of whatever we’re doing. After shooting 7-under on the front 9 we thought we would probably go a little lower. But all said and done, making birdie on the last two (holes) to get to 10-under was really nice.”

    Nick Faldo along with partner Eduardo Romero shot a 5-under round of 49 at the par 54, Top of the Rock course. The duo shared low round honors with the team of Tom Watson and Andy North.

    “I’ve never shot a 49 before,” said Watson. “Maybe a couple of times in pro-ams where we had some sandbaggers in there, but never a 49 when it really counted.”

    Given the complex format and players competing on two courses, it’s hard to tell if 5-under 49 is a good score or not. After the opening round it’s good enough for a T13.

    Sluman, along with other players who played Buffalo Ridge on Friday, will now move over Top of the Rock.

    “Tomorrow, on a par 3 course we’ve never played, I don’t know what’s a good score tomorrow, so we’re going to have to play hard and hopefully we post a decent one,” said Sluman.

    In the Legends Division, age 65 and older, Bruce Fleisher and Larry Nelson carded a score of 9-under 62 to grab the opening round lead. The team of Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe are 4 shots back at 5-under par.

    Heavy rain delayed play twice on Friday for nearly four hours. 

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