Toshiba Classic: Round 1 notebook

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March 05, 2010
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with highs in the low-60s. Winds were from the SW at 5-15 mph.

Bob Tway, Chien Soon Lu and Mark Wiebe share the opening-round lead at 6-under 65. Fred Couples, Olin Browne, Lonnie Nielsen and Mike Goodes all trail the leaders by one stroke. Tway and Lu are making their first starts in the event.

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• A total of five players have won this event in their first appearance. That group includes Gary McCord (1999), Jose Maria Canizares (2001), Rodger Davis (2003), Mark Johnson (2005) and Brad Bryant (2006).

• With his 5-under 66 on Friday, Fred Couples has now posted seven consecutive rounds in the 60s in as many starts on the Champions Tour. He is a combined 43 under in those seven rounds.

• Tway's 6-under 65 was his best round on the Champions Tour in 12 career starts.

• Lu is playing in just his second Champions Tour event. A conditionally exempt player after finishing 12th at the 2009 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament, Lu played several years in Asia where he won nearly three dozen events, including 12 on the Asian Tour. He earned a berth in this tournament by virtue of his tie for ninth at the Allianz Championship.

• A total of 36 players in the 80-player field posted rounds below par and the field averaged 70.975 for the day. It was just a shade lower than last year's average of 71.101.

• Defending champion Eduardo Romero shot a 4-under 67 and is currently tied for eighth.

• Wiebe, Mike Goodes, Lonnie Nielsen, Romero, Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer all posted bogey-free rounds on Friday. In fact, Langer, after making a birdie on his opening hole, ran off 17 consecutive pars to finish at 1-under 70.

• Wiebe one-putted 12 of 18 greens and led all players with the fewest one-putts.

Bob Gilder made his 148thconsecutive starts for events he's been eligible for on Friday.

• Goodes continues to play well in 2010. A former amateur player who turned professional in 2007, Goodes is tied for fourth after shooting a 66. He owns a pair of top-10 finishes as well as a tie for 16th in three starts this year. Goodes has the best current streak on the Champions Tour with 10 straight sub-par rounds.

• Nielsen, also tied for fourth, was making his first start of the 2010 season after missing the previous three events after January knee surgery.

Jim Colbert, the 1996 champion, withdrew prior to the start of Friday's round due to the flu. Bruce Vaughan took his spot in the field.

Dave Stockton made his 16th appearance in the event, making him the only player to have competed in every Toshiba Classic.

• D.A. Weibring led all players, hitting all 18 greens in regulation, while Allen Doyle led in driving accuracy, hitting all 14 fairways. Gary Hallberg had the fewest putts -- 23. Hallberg also had two eagles.

• Hole No. 15 was again the easiest on the course with an average of 4.400. There were four eagles and 45 birdies. The most difficult was No. 17 with an average of 3.400. The only players to make a birdie on the hole were Bruce Fleisher and Fred Funk. Hole No. 15 has been the easiest in this event in all 14 previous tournaments at the Newport Beach Country Club.

Olin Browne increased his string of holes without a three-putt to 112 on Friday. That is the best current streak on the Champions Tour.

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