Dick's Sporting Goods Open: First-round notebook

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July 04, 2008
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Joe Ozaki's 9-under-par 63 Friday was his low round on the Champions Tour, surpassing the 7-under-par 64 he shot in the second round at the 2007 Toshiba Classic.

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• Ozaki's round included just 22 putts, fewest by a player in the opening round.

• Horseheads, N.Y., native Joey Sindelar turned in a solid effort in his first start in this event, firing a 6-under-par 66. Sindelar is a two-time winner of the B.C. Open, the former PGA TOUR stop that was held at the En-Joie Golf Course from 1970-2005.

Eduardo Romero, playing at the En-Joie Golf Course for the first time since the 1986 B.C. Open, opened with a 7-under-par 65. He finished tied for 59th in his lone appearance in Endicott. Romero shot a 6-under-par 31 on the front nine on Friday.

• With the chance of early-morning fog in the area on Saturday morning, the tournament will utilize a two-tee start between 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Jimmy Powell bettered his age for the second time at this event when he shot an even-par 72. The 73-year-old Powell shot a final-round 5-under-par 67 at last year's event.

Joe Ozaki, Ronnie Black, John Harris, Bobby Wadkins, Bruce Vaughan, Mark James and Craig Stadler all posted bogey-free rounds.

• The most difficult hole was No. 15 with an average of 4.295 (+.295). Only six players made birdies on the hole. The easiest hole was No. 12 at 4.744 (-.256). The hole yielded 25 birdies.

• Overall, the field averaged 71.359 more than two strokes lower than last year's first-round average of 73.641. There were 26 rounds in the 60s on Friday compared to just three in 2007 and 39 sub-par rounds compared to 20 a year ago.

Gene Jones, who tied for fourth in last week's Commerce Bank Championship to earn a spot in this week's event, continued his strong play, shooting a 4-under-par 68. The co-medalist at the 2007 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament, Jones is currently 32nd on the money list with $310,392. He owns four top-10 finishes this year.

• Surprisingly, there were no eagles in the opening round. ... Defending champion R.W. Eaks opened with a 3-over-par 75. ... Tom Wargo withdrew following his round with a back injury. ... Endicott native Tony Saraceno was the lone player to hit all 14 fairways on Friday.

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