Boeing Classic: First-round notebook

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August 22, 2008
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. -- Co-leader Scott Simpson was the only player to post a bogey-free round on Friday in the first round of the Boeing Classic.

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Mark Wiebe, who shares the lead with Scott Simpson, had an opportunity to have the lead all to himself, but made a bogey at No. 18 that left him with a first-round total of 5-under-par 67. It was the only blemish on his scorecard.

Bob Gilder made his 115th consecutive start on the Champions Tour on Friday, a streak that began at the 2004 JELD-WEN Tradition. It is the longest current streak on Tour.

Scott Hoch withdrew after eight holes with a left wrist injury. Hoch was 1 under par at the time.

Keith Fergus ran his string of sub-par rounds in this event to 10 when he fired a 1-under-par 71 on Friday. He was runner-up to Tom Kite in 2006, was tied for 14th last year and tied for 20th in the inaugural event.

• The most difficult hole on Friday was No. 4 with an average score of 4.468 (+.468). No. 3 was the second hardest at 4.325 (+.325). The easiest hole was No. 14 at 3.727 (-.273).

• Speaking of difficulty, the stretch from holes 3-6 is one of the most difficult on the course. That stretch ranked second, first, fourth and fifth in overall difficulty. The field averaged 37.091 on the front nine on Friday and 35.883 on the back nine.

Massy Kuramoto saw his streak of consecutive holes without a three-putt come to an end at 310 when he three putted No. 3 on Friday. That was the best streak on the Champions Tour in 2008.

• Defending champion Denis Watson opened with a 2-over-par 74 and is currently tied for 48th.

• There was just one eagle on the famed 14th hole, a 424-yard par 4. Players choosing to go for the pin off the tee must carry a 278-yard gully and Friday's pin was 295 yards from the tee. A total of 28 choose to go for the green and that resulted in 10 birdies and the eagle. Phil Blackmar made the lone eagle and it couldn't have come at a better time. He had made a triple bogey on his previous hole. In addition to Blackmar's eagle, there were 24 birdies and only four players in the 77-player field made bogey or worse.

• A total of 24 players finished with rounds under par and the field averaged 72.974, the highest first-round average in the tournament's brief history. The scoring average in 2005 was 71.321, in 2006 it was 71.128, and in 2007 it was 72.782.

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