Round 1 Notebook: Boeing Classic

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August 26, 2011
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Sunny with highs in the low-80s and winds from the NW at 5-10 mph.

Leader Notes:

Russ Cochran, 6-under, 66, 1st

• Making his third appearance in the Boeing Classic...Best finish was a T6 in 2010

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• Shot 66 in the final round of last year's event at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

• Has seven top-10s including a win at the Senior British Open Championship at Walton Heath near London last month, his third career victory on the Champions Tour. He became the first left-hander to win a senior major since Bob Charles in 1992.

Russ Cochran has been a first-round leader/co-leader nine previous times on the Champions Tour including four times this year (Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, ACE Group Classic, Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Nature Valley First Tee Open At Pebble Beach). In his career on the Champions Tour, he's only gone on to win once as a first-round leader and that was last year at the SAS Championship where he went wire-to-wire.

Jeff Sluman, 5-under, 67, 2nd

• Making his fourth appearance in the Boeing Classic...Best finish was a T8 in 2010.

• His 5-under 67 on Friday was his best round at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Previous best was 68 twice -- 3rd/2009, 1st/2010.

• Won his third Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach earlier this year, his fourth overall title on the Champions Tour.

Miscellaneous Notes:

• First-round leaders/co-leaders have never gone on to win this event over the previous six years. Thus far in 2011 on the Champions Tour, first-round leaders have won seven of 18 events including two of the last three tournaments. In the last four years at this event, no player has come from farther back than T7 (Denis Watson/2003) to win.

• Today's first-round scoring average was 73.500 (+1.500), the highest for any single round in tournament history. The previous high for an opening round at this event was 72.974 in 2008. There were just seven scores in the 60s today, the fewest for a round since there were just eight sub-70 scores in Round 2 of the 2010 event. The previous record for the fewest first-round scores in the 60s was 11 on Friday in both 2008 and 2007.

Mark Brooks had the only bogey-free round today. Mark Brooks made 18 consecutive pars today and, dating back to the final round of last week's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, he's now made 19 consecutive pars.

Ben Crenshaw was the only player to make eagle on the driveable par-4 14th hole. Overall, there were seven eagles made today.

Player Round Tournament Hole Club Yardage
Olin Browne 1 Allianz Championship No. 8 6-iron 176 yards
D.A. Weibring 2 U.S. Senior Open No. 3 6-iron 170 yards
Jay Haas 1 3M Championship No. 4 5-iron 180 yards

• 66-year-old Hale Irwin, the Champions Tour's all-time victory leader with 45 titles, shot a 4-under 68 that included an ace the par-3 9thhole with a 6-iron shot from 185 yards. It was Irwin's first career ace on the Champions Tour and the 10th of his career. He had five aces on the PGA TOUR, most recently at the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Irwin made his first ace in competition at the 1967 NCAA Championships and went on to win medalist honors at that event. Irwin's ace today was just the second ace in Boeing Classic tournament history. Tim Simpson aced the 6th hole in the first round of the 2009 event. Here are details on the other three aces made on the 2011 Champions Tour:

• Despite incurring a one-stroke penalty when his caddie inadvertently moved a ball in the rough, defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 4-under 68 today (T3), his seventh straight sub-70 score at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Langer is now a cumulative 35-under on this course.

• Three of the top-six players on the leaderboard are from the state of Kentucky -- Russ Cochran/66 (Paducah, KY), Ted Schulz/68 (Louisville , KY) and Kenny Perry/69 (Franklin, KY)

• Local favorite Fred Couples, the winner of last week's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, opened with a 1-over 73, in his second appearance in the Boeing Classic. Last year, the Seattle native finished third in the tournament.

• Here's how the former champions fared in Round 1 -- David Eger (2005)/72-T19, Tom Kite (2006,2008)/75-T53, Loren Roberts (2009)/74-T41, Bernhard Langer(2010)/68-T3

• The 2011 Boeing Classic started this morning at 11:20 a.m with a traditional flyover and this year, a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner piloted by Capt. Randy Neville did the honors.

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