Daily Wrap-up: Round 1, Frys.com OpenOctober 11, 2012
Staff, wire reports
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Nick O'Hern had to choose between baseball and golf as a profession. This weekend he's able to get his fill of both.
O'Hern shot a career-best 9-under 62 on Thursday in rainy conditions to take a three-stroke lead over European Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts, Jhonattan Vegas and Derek Ernst in the Frys.com Open.
O'Hern had eight birdies in an 11-hole stretch and capped the bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole to tie the course record at CordeValle Golf Club.
He made it, as a fan, to Oakland's 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night after playing golf at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
"I'm just doing it all this week," O'Hern said. "It's a lot of fun. I've never been to a playoff baseball game before and it was quite an experience. I was in my golf clothes. All that green and yellow and I had a pink shirt on."
Colsaerts is trying to earn a PGA TOUR card. As a special temporary member, he needs to finish the equivalent of 125th on the money list to earn a full 2013 card. The Belgian player has earned $652,886, enough now for the 120th spot.
"Obviously, it is a little more difficult to keep playing in the rain," Colsaerts said. "The greens got a bit softer as well, and pace-wise on the greens it's not the same thing. So you got to search for the things that the rain just changes the course a little. But I felt like I'm kind of used to playing in this kind of stuff. I know you guys over here don't really like it that much. I thought it was actually the perfect time just to press on and make sure I get a good score in."
Vegas is fighting a shoulder injury.
"It was definitely a phenomenal round today," Vegas said. "It was really the best solid round I've had all year from the beginning to the end from birdieing the fifth hole and birdieing two of the last three.
So it was great."
Shot of the Day
Watch Stuart Appleby hole a 56-foot chip shot.
Ernst, a recent graduate of UNLV, is playing in his first career TOUR event after winning a sectional qualifier.
British Open champion Ernie Els opened with a 71.
"All in all, I'll take 71," Els said. "It's not the best start, but it's not the worst start. I can get into the 60s the next three rounds."
O'Hern had to battle the elements too. There was a steady mist falling, and the wind came up, for a couple of hours in the late afternoon.
"You never know what can happen with the weather," he said. "It's probably going to be chilly in the morning."
O'Hern, who has five professional wins, all in Australia, tied for second at the Booz Allen Classic six years ago for her best finish in the United States. He was third this year in the FedEx St. Jude Classic for his lone top-25 finish of the year.
CordeValle GC: Round 1 EASIEST HOLE TOUGHEST HOLE The par-5 15th hole was the easiest with a Thursday scoring average of 4.779.
EAGLES: 3 BIRDIES: 45 PARS: 63 BOGEYS: 18 OTHER: 2
The par-3 11th hole was the toughest with a Thursday scoring average of 3.366.
EAGLES: 0 BIRDIES: 2 PARS: 83
BOGEYS: 42 OTHERS: 4
About the leader: Nick O'Hern • O'Hern has missed 12 of 23 cuts on TOUR this season. His only top 10 this season was a T3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. • O'Hern's shot a career-low round today at CordeValle with a 62. His previous low was a 63 at the 2009 Frys.com Open (T13) and the 2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T23). • Since joining the TOUR in 2005, O'Hern has had at least two top 10s each season. He is looking for his second of the season. • O'Hern entered the week No. 144 on the money list. He has only finished outside the top 125 on the money list once (2010/168) over the last six seasons. • O'Hern has not won on TOUR in 174 career starts. His best career finish is T2 at the 2006 Booz Allen Classic. • O'Hern's three shot lead after the first round is the largest on TOUR since Troy Matteson led by three at the John Deere Classic (P2).
"It's been my toughest season as a professional," he said. "The last two months or so I feel my game began to turn around and that I sort of refreshed my mind on what worked in the past."