Notebook: Round 1, Boeing Classic

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August 24, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds early before becoming sunny with highs in the low 70s. Winds from the NNW at 5-10 mph.

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• Mark Calcavecchia's three-stroke lead is the largest in tournament history and the largest on the Champions Tour this year. The largest previous margin in this event was two strokes by three players, most recently by Mark O'Meara in 2009. None of those players would go on to win the event. Four players have held two-stroke leads after the opening round this year with Russ Cochran's being the most recent at the Montreal Championship. So far in 2012, only three of the previous 18-hole leaders have gone on to win the event.

• When Calcavecchia won his title here a year ago in a playoff with Russ Cochran, he also posted a 7-under-par 65 in his final round. In fact in his last 51 holes at this course, Calcavecchia has made 19 birdies and two eagles and is a combined 20-under-par.

• Calcavecchia's 5-under-par 31 on the front nine matched the best front-nine score in tournament history. A total of 14 players have also posted a 31 on the front nine in tournament history.

• Calcavecchia has enjoyed his share of success in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his victory here in 2011, he owns a pair of wins in the area and both came on the PGA TOUR. He claimed the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open in 1997 in Surrey, BC, at the Northview Golf and CC and eight years later was the winner of the Bell Canadian Open at the Shaughnessy Golf and CC in Vancouver, BC.

• Jay Don Blake's 4-under-par 68 on Friday was his first round in the 60s at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. It was his 10th round in this tournament.

• Jeff Sluman opened with a 4-under-par 68 and is bidding for his fourth straight top-10 finish in this tournament highlighted by a fourth-place finish a year ago.

• Pullman (Wash.) native Kirk Triplett shot a 4-under-par 68 in his first start in the Boeing Classic.

• Seattle native Fred Couples was forced with withdraw after hitting his drive on the opening hole due to a lower back problem. "I didn't feel very good warming up. I hit the tee shot at No. 1 and then my lower back really locked up when I walked down the hill to my second shot. It was like a bomb went off in my lower back. I think it's time to rest. I'm sad I won't be able to play in this year's event. For this to happen to me in Seattle, this is a rough one," Couples said.

• Duffy Waldorf and Gene Sauers made their Champions Tour debuts on Friday. Waldorf fired a 3-over-par 75, while Sauers posted a 1-under-par 71. It marked the first time two former multiple PGA TOUR winners made their debuts in the same event since Jim Gallagher, Jr., and Mark Brooks did so at the 2011 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

• Joey Sindelar's string of 45 consecutive holes without a bogey which started at last week's Dick's Sporting Goods Open, ended on the third hole when he made a bogey.

• Bernhard Langer, the 2010 champion, will need to make up some ground on the weekend if he is to extend his string of top-10 finishes to 11. Langer shot a 1-over-par 73 and is T49. Langer has 13 top-10 finishes in 15 starts this year on the Champions Tour.

• Friday's first-round scoring average was 72.291 (+.291); a drop from last year's opening-round average of 73.500 which was the highest for any single round in tournament history.

• Hole No. 17 was the most difficult with an average score of 3.456. There were nine birdies, 36 pars, 27 bogeys, four double bogeys and three others. While No. 17 was the hardest, No. 3 was by far the most difficult to birdie. There were just two birdies on the 439-yard par-4 hole. Jay Don Blake made the first and he was later joined by Lance Ten Broeck. The easiest hole was No. 8 at 4.456 (-.544). There were five eagles and 38 birdies.

• A total of 36 players finished under par on Friday; double the first-round total from a year ago.

• R.W. Eaks made an eagle on the driveable par-4, 14th hole, holing out from the greenside bunker. It was his third eagle on that hole in tournament history and was only the 18th eagle in tournament history on No. 14. Eaks also made eagles in 2005 and 2010.

• Tom Kite made a birdie at No. 14, his 14th birdie on that hole in his eight appearances in this tournament which leads all players. Tom Purtzer also made a birdie, his 11th on the hole and he is second in that category with David Eger.

• Hale Irwin made his 1,054th combined career start (PGA TOUR/Champions Tour) on Friday, including 395 on the Champions Tour. Those 1,054 starts moved him past Arnold Palmer into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list for combined starts. Miller Barber leads with 1,293 starts followed by Dave Eichelberger with 1,250 and Charles Coody with 1,070.

• Rod Spittle birdied all four par-5 holes on Friday.

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