Toshiba Classic: First-round notebook

March 06, 2009
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Bernhard Langer's one-stroke lead after the first round keeps a Toshiba Classic tradition going. Outside of Tom Purtzer's four-stroke advantage after Friday play in 2004, no other opening-round leader has enjoyed more than a one-stroke lead at Newport Beach Country Club.

Inside the Numbers
18-Hole Leaderboard
Player Score
1. Bernhard Langer 65 -5
T2. Jim Colbert 66 -4
T2. Bob Gilder 66 -4
T2. Eduardo Romero 66 -4
T5. Mark O'Meara 67 -3
T5. Denis Watson 67 -3
T7. Tom Watson 68 -2
T7. Andy Bean 68 -2
T7. Joey Sindelar 68 -2
T7. Tim Simpson 68 -2
T7. Gene Jones 68 -2

• A total of six first-round leaders have won this event, the last being Jay Haas in 2007. There has never been a wire-to-wire winner in event history.

• After posting a course-record 9-under 63 at the TPC Treviso Bay during the final round of the ACE Group Classic two weeks ago, Bob Gilder followed up with a 5-under 66 Friday. This marks his best two consecutive rounds on the Champions Tour since posting 64-63 on the weekend at the 2003 Emerald Coast Classic. This week, Gilder is playing in his 125th consecutive tournament that he's been eligible for.

• The 67-year-old Jim Colbert, the 1996 Toshiba Classic champion, bettered his age for the first time in his illustrious Champions Tour career after carding a 5-under 66 (1 eagle, 8 birdies, 5 pars, 3 bogeys, 1 double bogey) Friday. Colbert's round was his best at this tournament since posting a 6-under 65 in the second round of the 1996 event that he eventually won at Newport Beach Country Club.

• Before Friday, Colbert had gone 22 rounds on the Champions Tour since breaking 70 and the 66 was Colbert's best round on the circuit since his 66 in Round 3 of the 2003 Senior British Open. One day earlier at Turnberry, Colbert became the youngest player to match his age in a major championship, carding an 8-under 62.

• Colbert's birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie (5 under) start Friday was the best eagle/birdie streak of the 2009 season.

• Five of the top six names on the first-round leaderboard at this year's Toshiba Classic have won major championships on either the PGA TOUR or the Champions Tour: Langer (1985, 1993 Masters), Colbert (1993 Constellation Energy Senior Players), Eduardo Romero (2006 JELD-WEN Tradition, 2008 U.S. Senior Open), Mark O'Meara (1998 Masters, British Open), Denis Watson (2007 Senior PGA Championship).

• After having his 2008 season cut short by arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, Jay Sigel made his first start on the Champions Tour in almost a year and posted a 1 under Friday. Sigel last played at the 2008 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach at the end of March and finished tied for 31st. His five appearances on the Champions Tour last year included a tie for 13th at the Toshiba Classic.

Ian Woosnam, the leader of the Order of Merit on last year's European Seniors Tour, carded a 1-over 72 Friday. This week, Woosnam made his first appearance on the Champions Tour since last year's U.S. Senior Open in early August. Woosnam played in nine events in his rookie year on the Champions Tour last season and his best individual showing was a tie for 16th at the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.

• The field scoring average Friday was 71.101 with 23 rounds in the 60s. Last year, the opening-round average was 69.679 with 42 rounds in the 60s. The most difficult hole Friday was No. 17 (3.392) while No. 18 was the easiest (4.456). Overall, there were seven eagles made Friday.

Tom Jenkins had the only bogey-free round Friday. In the 2002 Toshiba Classic, Jenkins played all 54 holes at Newport Beach Country Club without making a bogey and finished tied for 10th.

Allen Doyle's 2-under 69 Friday gives him 23 rounds in the 60s out of 30 career rounds played at this event. Doyle is now a cumulative 78 under par in this tournament. He won the event in 2000 and has six other top-10 finishes.

Dave Stockton (74) and Bruce Summerhays (77) both teed it up for the 15th time at the Toshiba Classic. They are the only two players who have played in every Champions Tour event in Orange County. Stockton's best performance was a tie for second in 1995 at Mesa Verde CC, while Summerhays finished tied for 14th in the 1999 event.

Tom Purtzer (73) and Ben Crenshaw (71) both saw their streaks of rounds in the 60s at Newport Beach end at six straight. Craig Stadler's 2-over 73 Friday ended a run of 12 consecutive rounds of par/better in this event.

Bernhard Langer was the only player in the field to hit all 14 fairways Friday. ... Langer, Romero and Jenkins led the field in Greens In Regulation, hitting 15 of the 18. ... Morris Hatalsky had only 23 putts Friday, including 13 one-putts. ... Steve Thomas had the longest measured drive of the day, 328 yards at the par-4 16th hole.