February 3 2011
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tom Gillis had the first tee time of the day but thanks to a series of text messages keeping him informed about the frost delay, the veteran actually had a pretty leisurely morning.
So instead of pacing around in the locker room, Gillis got to sleep in and watch "Dora The Explorer" with his daughter before he headed over to TPC Scottsdale to get down to business.
Four hours after Gillis' original starting time -- in essence, about when he would have normally been finishing his opening round -- he hit the first shot in a round of 65 that gave him a share of the lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Gillis is tied with Bill Haas, Tom Lehman and Jason Bohn at 6 under.
Gillis chipped in for his first birdie, which was also the opening one of the tournament, and went on to made three in his first four holes. He got up and down from the greenside bunker on the par-5 third and made a 4-footer for a birdie at the fourth.
Gillis then made three more birdies on the back nine and didn't drop a shot to par. He was extremely solid tee to green -- missing just one fairway and two greens -- and he used just 28 putts.
"(I) just got off to a quick start and built some momentum and was hitting it very solid and had a real good warm-up," Gillis said. "I felt pretty good going out. I was real confident when I went out.
"We had a good group, played fast. I like to play fast. Blake Adams plays fast, Chris Riley is probably the fastest guy on TOUR, one of them, and I'm not far behind. So we moved along. ... It was a good pace, good fun."
Gillis may live in Florida now, but he is from Michigan and he maintains a summer place there. He got a serious dose of winter when he went home over Christmas so Thursday's temperatures that hovered in the mid-40s must have felt almost balmy.
"I was ... up there for the holidays, and we played hockey every day on the lake and it was 15 degrees with no wind," Gillis said. "... And I was wearing the same stuff. It felt a little colder today -- probably because we weren't moving as much as we were when we were playing hockey.
"I don't know, it was 32 or 33 it seemed like when we were getting ready to tee off, maybe a little more than that. But it just seemed colder than 15 degrees up there, that's all I know.” – Helen Ross
Check out Gillis’ bogey-free scorecard here .