Round 1 Notes: SENIOR PLAYERS

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June 28, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Mostly sunny and warm with highs in the low-to-mid 90s. Winds were from the SW at 10-15 mph. There is a chance for overnight showers moving through the area. Friday's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with highs in the low 90s and winds from the mid-to-upper 80s. Winds from the WNW at 10-15 mph with some higher gusts.

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Bruce Vaughan's bogey-free 6-under-par 64 gave him the first-round lead at the $2.7 million Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. The 2008 Senior British Open champion's 64 matched his low round on the Champions Tour (2007, 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods Open) and gave him a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk. Fred Couples, Tom Lehman and Michael Allen are tied for third, two back.

• Vaughan's 6-under-par 64 matched the best first-round score in tournament history. Hale Irwin (2002/TPC Michigan) was the first player to post a 64 in the opening round in tournament history and it was later matched by Gil Morgan (2003/TPC Michigan) and Graham Marsh (2005 TPC Michigan). All three posted their scores on a par-72 course.

• Prior to today, the only time Vaughan held sole possession of the lead after the opening round on the Champions Tour was in 2010 when his 4-under-par 66 led the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee CC in Sammamish, WA.

• Vaughan's best showing this year in seven previous starts was a T12 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

• One of current leader Bruce Vaughan's early teachers in his career in Kansas was former New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry, who is best remembered by Pittsburgh-area sports fans for being the pitcher who served up Bill Mazeroski's game-winning home run in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series.

Greg Norman made his first start in a Champions Tour event since the 2009 Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble beach on Thursday and posted a 3-under-par 67. He is currently T7. Norman was the only player among the top-20 on the leaderboard who started his day with a bogey.

Tom Watson also returned to the Champions Tour for the first time in over two months while sidelined with a right hand/arm injury. Watson's last start was in the opening round of the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay where he opened with a 77 before withdrawing with his injury. Watson shot an even-par 70 on Thursday.

Tom Lehman's streak of consecutive rounds in the 60s moved to nine after an opening-round 66. Hale Irwin holds the record in that category with 13 in 1999.

Corey Pavin's streak of consecutive three-putts ended at 260 when he three-putted No. 6 for a bogey on Thursday. With Pavin's streak coming to an end, Rod Spittle is now the current leader at 149.

Bob Gilder is playing in his 56th consecutive major championship on the Champions Tour. The winner of 10 Champions Tour events and six more on the PGA TOUR, Gilder has not missed one of the Champions Tour major championships since joining the Champions Tour in 2001. Below is a rundown on his previous 55 starts in major championships.

• Defending champion Fred Couples is currently T3 after a 4-under-par 66.

• The field averaged 71.318 on Thursday with the back nine playing nearly a stroke higher than the front nine. The average on the front nine was 35.198, while it was 36.136 on the back nine. The toughest hole was No. 8 (4.444/+.444) and No. 2 was the easiest (4.580/-.420). However, No. 17 was the most difficult to birdie with only three -- Fred Funk, David Frost and Hale Irwin

Bruce Vaughan, Fred Couples and Michael Allen all posted bogey-free rounds.

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