Round 1 Notebook: Principal Charity Classic

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June 04, 2010
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR staff

Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the mid-80s and winds from the NW at 5-15 mph.

Recap of the Round: Tommy Armour III, making his eighth career appearance on the Champions Tour, got off to his best start since turning 50, carding a bogey-free 8-under 63 on Friday at The Principal Charity Classic. Armour holds a three-stroke advantage over Dan Forsman and Russ Cochran.

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• Armour's 8-under 63 is the best first-round score in tournament history and also matched the tournament record for 18 holes. In 2002, John Bland shot 63 in Round 2 and Massy Kuramoto had 63 in the final round of the 2007 event. Scott Simpson had posted the previous-best first round, starting with a 7-under 64 on Friday in 2006. Simpson ended up finishing T33 that year.

• Armour enjoys a three-stroke lead after 18 holes, the biggest opening-round lead ever at this event. In 2001, Gil Morgan had a two-stroke lead and in 2004, D.A. Weibring was two shots ahead after the first round. Morgan finished second in the inaugural event, while Weibring went on to record a wire-to-wire victory.

• First-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win just three of the first 10 Champions Tour events this year. In the previous nine events here in Des Moines, only three first-round leaders/co-leaders went on to win -- D.A. Weibring (2004), Tom Jenkins (2005) and Jay Haas (2007).

• The field averaged 70.744 for the opening round of this year's event. Last year's first-round scoring average was 71.329 and two years ago, the first-round stroke average was 71.231. A total of 36 players posted sub-par rounds today compared to 32 sub-par scores on Friday in 2009 and 34 in 2008. The all-time best first-round scoring average at Glen Oaks was 70.038 on Friday in 2006. There were 273 birdies made today compared to 262 birdies on Friday last year.

• The most difficult hole in Round 1 was the par-4 13th (4.256), yielding just two birdies (Forsman, David Frost). The easiest hole was the par-5 9th (4.359), yielding one eagle (Ken Schall) and 51 birdies.

Bob Gilder made his 155th consecutive start on the Champions Tour for which he's been eligible. Jeff Sluman made his 49th consecutive start on the Champions Tour today.

Fred Couples, the only player with three victories on the Champions Tour through the first 10 events of the season, shot 1-under 70 in his first round at The Principal Charity Classic. It marked only the second time this year, he hasn't started a Champions Tour event with a round in the 60s (71-Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am). Couples had 34 putts today, the second-most he's ever had in a round on the Champions Tour. He had 35 putts in Round 3 of last week's Senior PGA Championship. Twenty-seven-years ago tomorrow, Couples won the Kemper Open in a playoff, the first of his 15 PGA TOUR titles.

Nick Price's 4-under 67 was his seventh straight sub-par round and sixth consecutive score in the 60s at Glen Oaks Country Club. Price has opened with a sub-par score in all nine of his stroke-play events this year and is a cumulative 34-under-par in Round 1 this year. Price comes into this week's Principal Charity Classic having been among the top-10 in six of his last seven tournaments, including a victory with Mark O'Meara at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

• Armour, Mike Reid and Gary Hallberg had the only bogey-free rounds today... Bernhard Langer had the fewest putts (23)... Cochran hit all 18 greens in regulation and now has a streak of 28 straight greens hit in regulation dating back to last week's Senior PGA Championship... Olin Browne and Corey Pavin hit all 14 fairways.

• Today's attendance at The Principal Charity Classic was a Friday tournament record. More than 21,000 people watched the first round of the event, approximately 2,000 more than on Friday last year.

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