3M Championship: First-Round Notebook

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August 03, 2007
By Phil Stambaugh PGA TOUR Staff

BLAINE, Minn. -- Jim Thorpe and Tom Jenkins both posted 8-under-par 64s Friday and are tied for the lead after the first day of play of the 3M Championship. It marks the third consecutive event on the Champions Tour with multiple players tied for the top spot after Round 1.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
18-HOLE LEADERBOARD
Player Scores
T1. Tom Jenkins 64 -8
T1. Jim Thorpe 64 -8
T3. Jay Haas 65 -7
T3. Craig Stadler 65 -7
T3. Bobby Wadkins 65 -7
T3. John Jacobs 65 -7
T3. D.A. Weibring 65 -7
T3. John Harris 65 -7
T9. Gil Morgan 66 -6
T9. Boonchu Ruangkit 66 -6
T9. Hale Irwin 66 -6

• Last week in Scotland, four players (Stockton, Faldo, Job, Brand) shared the first-round lead at the Senior British Open and two weeks prior to that, three players (Stadler, Spittle, Hoch) were tied for the lead after the first-round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in upstate New York.

• In the first 19 Champions Tour events this year, only five first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win. Jay Haas was the last to do so at the Principal Charity Classic in early June. Over the previous 14 3M Championships, only three first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this event with Tom Purtzer being the last to do so in 2005 after carding a 9-under 63 on Friday.

Jim Thorpe's career record on the Champions Tour when leading/co-leading after the opening round is 4-15. His last victory when leading/co-leading after an opening round came last year at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship when he shot a 6-under 66 (one stroke up on Tom Kite) on Thursday at Sonoma Golf Club.

• Thorpe's 64 is one stroke off his all-time best first-round score on the Champions Tour and equals his best starting round of the 2007 season (64-Boeing Championship at Sandestin). Thorpe's round Friay is also his lowest first-round score to lead/co-lead since he shot 63 on Friday at the 2005 Blue Angels Classic.

Tom Jenkins' career record on the Champions Tour when leading/co-leading after the opening round is 2-8. His last victory when leading/co-leading after an opening round came at the 2005 Allianz Championship when he shot 65 (tied with Mike Sullivan) at the Tournament Club of Iowa.

• Jenkins' 64 is also one stroke off his best first-round score on the Champions Tour and is his lowest round of the 2007 season. Jenkins' round Friday is also his lowest first-round score to lead/co-lead since he shot 63 on Friday at the 2002 AT&T Canada Senior Open in Essex, Ontario.

• Australian Wayne Grady, the 1990 PGA Championship winner, got off to a good start in his first PGA TOUR-sponsored event on American soil since the 2006 Chattanooga Classic on the Nationwide Tour, where he missed the cut. After having to pull out of his Wednesday pro-am round on the front nine with an ankle injury, Grady rebounded Friday with a 5-under 67. Grady debuted on the Champions Tour last week at the Senior British Open but missed the cut in Scotland.

• Local favorite John Harris of Edina, Minn., posted a 7-under 65 and is in a group of six players one stroke off the lead. This was Harris' best round at the TPC Twin Cities. In 2005, he opened with a 5-under 67. Harris' best finish in the 3M Championship is a tie for 26th last year.

• In his quest for a fifth overall title this year, Jay Haas started with a 7-under 65 and is tied for third. At the Toshiba Classic, Haas was tied for the lead after play on Friday. At the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, he was tied for second after play on Friday. At the Principal Charity Classic, he was in the lead after the opening round. When he won at the Bank of America Championship, he was tied for 24th after play on Friday.

• Friday's field scoring average was 69.833, the lowest for an opening-round in event history, and the second lowest first-round stroke average for a full-field Champions Tour event (69.263-Boeing Championship at Sandestin) in 2007. A total of 41 players had rounds in the 60s and 57 players broke par. Last year, the first-round scoring average at the TPC Twin Cities was 71.974 and the stroke average on Friday in 2005 was 70.923.

• The par-5 third hole played as the easiest on the day (4.551), yielding one eagle (Mike McCullough) and 39 birdies.

Tom Jenkins, Jim Thorpe, Craig Stadler, Don Pooley, Fuzzy Zoeller, Denis Watson, John Adams and Bruce Fleisher all had bogey-free rounds Friday.

• D.A. Weibring's 7-under 65 equalled his best round ever on the TPC Twin Cities layout (65-Round 2 of 2005) and gives him 10 consecutive sub-par scores in as many rounds as he has played on this course.

• Three-time 3M Championship winner Hale Irwin returned to competition on the Champions Tour and posted a 6-under 66, his 21st round in the 60s out of 33 played in this event. Irwin last played on the Champions Tour at the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, where he missed the cut.

• Saturday's opening-round of the 36-hole Greats of Golf Challenge will feature three three-man teams playing a better-ball exhibition within the overall 3M Championship competition. Billy Casper, Charles Coody and Gene Littler, all major championship winners on the PGA TOUR, will make up one team and will start at 8:57 a.m. Arnold Palmer, Don January and Miller Barber, all major champions on the Champions Tour, will play together and will tee off at 10:58 p.m. Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tony Jacklin and Lee Trevino, all former Ryder Cup players, will play together and will tee off at 12:04 p.m.

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