Round 1 Notes: Montreal Championship

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June 22, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with highs in the low-to-mid 80s. Winds were from the WNW at 10-15 mph.

Current Leaderboard: 1. Russ Cochran 33-33-66 (-6); T2. Jerry Pate 34-34-68 (-4), Michael Allen 35-33-68 (-4), Rod Spittle 33-35-68 (-4), Larry Mize 34-34-68 (-4)

Russ Cochran finds himself in a familiar position after the opening round of the Montreal Championship. After a 6-under 66 on Friday, Cochran leads the field by two strokes. Two years ago, Cochran shot a 5-under-par 67 and shared the opening-round lead with Tom Wargo in this tournament. He missed last year's event due to a balky right wrist. Cochran's round included seven birdies and just one bogey.

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• Cochran was perfect on the par-5 holes on Friday, making birdies on all four of the holes on the course. Cochran and Jerry Pate led all players with seven birdies.

• With the top two players (Bernhard Langer & Tom Lehman) in the current Charles Schwab Cup race not competing in this event, Michael Allen could regain the lead he held for five weeks earlier this year should he post a high finish. Allen is currently T2 after a 4-under 68. He recently made the cut at the U.S. Open and finished T56.

Michael Allen is one of four players who had the fewest putts in the first round (24). Allen's round included 12 one-putts. Keith Fergus, Rod Spittle and Peter Senior also had 24 putts with Senior also having a dozen one putts.

• Canadian Rod Spittle, a two-time Canadian Amateur champion, opened with a 4-under-par 68, but dating back to his final round at last year's tournament, he is a combined 14-under-par. Spittle set the tournament 18-hole scoring record in his final round a year ago when he fired a 10- under-par 62.

• Larry Mize, the winner of the inaugural event here in 2010, is off to a good start. Mize carded a 4-under-par 68 and is among four players tied for second, two strokes behind Russ Cochran.

• Canadian Claude Tremblay made the first hole-in-one in tournament history when he aced No. 13 with a 19 degree hybrid from 224 yards. It was the third hole-in-one on the Champions Tour this year and he joins J.L. Lewis and Graham Marsh with that distinction.

• Defending champion John Cook opened with a 1-under 71 and is currently T25.

• The field averaged 72.383 for the opening round with 38 rounds under par and 16 rounds in the 60s. The most difficult holes were Nos. 4 and 6 with an average score of 4.222 and 3.222 (+.222). The easiest was No. 16 at 4.728 (-.272).

• There are a number of players in the field who are still alternates for next week's Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship in Pittsburgh. The top six alternates are all in this event and could help their causes with a strong finish here. The SENIOR PLAYERS field is determined by earnings from the tournament after last year's SENIOR PLAYERS event through the Montreal Championship.

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