Quigley's record round gives him two-shot lead at 3M Championship

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July 18, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) -- Dana Quigley shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 and leads after the first round of the Champions Tour's 3M Championship on Friday.

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Inside the Numbers
Quigley thru 18 Holes
Category Total Rank
Eagles 1 T1
Birdies 9 1
Pars 7 78
Bogeys 1 T46
Double Bogeys 0 N/A
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 85.7% T23
Driving Distance 282.0 yds. T45
Greens in Regulation 72.2% T42
Putts per Round 22.0 1
Putts per GIR 1.385 2
Sand Saves 0.0% T22

Gene Jones shot a season-best 64, and is two shots back. Jeff Sluman birdied four of his last five holes to join R.W. Eaks at 7 under.

"There was no negative stuff that ever creeped in there for 18 holes," said Quigley, who matched his career low score in 11 years on the Champions Tour.

It easily could have.

He got up and down from 78 yards after putting his second shot in the water on the par-5 sixth hole and chipped in for par from heavy rough on No. 8.

"It's hard to trash nine birdies and an eagle, but that save on eight was the whole turning point for the round," he said. "A 1-under, 2-under, 3-under round turned into a 10-under because of that good fortune. If I make double there and go back to even, you don't know what the mind is going to do. You only get a few chances in this game in each round to either make it a good one or a bad one."

Quigley went 6 under over his next five holes, including holing out from 84 yards on No. 12 for an eagle. Birdies at 15 and 16 got him to 10 under, before he bogeyed No. 17. He knocked a 5-wood to within 12 feet on the 18th, but his eagle putt missed left. He tapped in for birdie.

The best finish for Quigley this year was third at last month's Bank of America Championship. He has 11 career champions Tour wins, but none since the 2006 Greater Kansas City Golf Classic.

He attributes his recent success on the green to switching to a belly putter a month ago, and changing to a more traditional right-handed grip, instead of the cross-handed style he's used throughout his Champions Tour career.

"I've always been a streaky putter," he said. "Let's hope this lasts three days."

Tom Purtzer shot the previous lowest opening round at the TPC Twin Cities, 63 in 2005, en route to winning the tournament.

Starting on the back nine, Jones birdied four of his first seven holes, and added another on No. 18. He birdied Nos. 2, 6 and 7 on the front side.

"When I needed to, I made my up-and-downs all day," said Jones, who shot a 64 in Monday's qualifier at nearby Victory Links to make the 78-player field. "It was a very easy day."

The combination of Thursday's rain and little wind enabled the field to continue posting low scores on the 7,100-yard course, just as they did during practice and pro-am rounds.

"The greens are as good as we've seen all year," Sluman said. "You could kind of throw the ball at the hole. You're going to see low scores. We got out in the last group and when we looked up (at the leaderboard) it looked like the whole world was under par. At that point you know if you're playing well you're going to have quite a few opportunities."

Fifty-four players were under par.

Ed Dougherty, Gary Hallberg, John Harris and Loren Roberts are four shots back after shooting 66. Peter Jacobsen, Bernhard Langer and David Ogrin shot 67s.

Defending champion D.A. Weibring was one of 16 players to shoot a 4-under 68.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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