Notebook: Senior PGA, Round 1

May 23, 2013

By Champions Tour staff

-- Weather: Cloudy and breezy with high temperatures in the mid-60s with intermittent afternoon showers. Winds were from the NW at 10-15 mph with some gusts to 20 mph in the afternoon.

-- Nearly 21 years after finishing T9 at the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive CC, Duffy Waldorf posted the afternoon’s low round, a 5-under-par 66 to move into a share of the first-round lead with former area resident Jay Haas. Playing a course he is quite familiar with, Haas, a two-time Senior PGA champion, had posted one of the day’s two bogey-free rounds in the morning to grab the early clubhouse lead before Waldorf matched his score in the afternoon. Haas, who was born in St. Louis and grew up in nearby Belleville, IL, one-putted six of his final nine holes and made birdie putts of four feet on No. 10, and from 10 feet on Nos. 12 and 15.

-- Waldorf has earned checks on all three Tours this year with a combined earnings totaling $229,517. He finished T48 a week ago at the HP Byron Nelson Championship last week near Dallas. His best showing on the Champions Tour has been a T5 at the Greater Gwinnett Championship. His lone start on the Tour was a 64th finish at the South Georgia Classic.

-- When the PGA Championship was played here in 1992, Waldorf was the lone player in the field who posted consecutive rounds in the 60s on the weekend. Waldorf had rounds of 68-69 which helped propel him from T57 after two rounds to his T9 finish.

-- Haas’ 5-under-par 66 was his lowest round in a Senior PGA Championship event. It was Haas’ 35th round in the event and his previous low round was a 67 in the first round in 2004 at Valhalla.

-- In addition to Haas’ bogey-free round, Mark Wiebe also posted a blemish-free card on his way to a 1-under-par 70.

-- Sonny Skinner posted the low round by one of the 42 club professionals in the event. The head professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, GA, shot a 4-under-par 67 and is currently T2. He is a three-time Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year awards.

-- Bobby Wadkins made his 1,000th combined career start (PGA TOUR/Champions Tour) on Thursday. Wadkins made 713 starts on the PGA TOUR and now has 287 starts on the Champions Tour. He is a four-time winner on the Champions Tour, including the 2006 Ford Senior Players Championship.

-- Bob Gilder is competing in his 59th consecutive major championship on the Champions Tour, the best current streak on Tour. Gilder has played in every major championship since joining the Champions Tour in 2001 and his best finish in the previous 58 was a solo third at this event in 2001 and a T3 in the Regions Tradition in 2002.

-- Several Champions Tour professionals have their sons working as their caddies this week. Among those utilizing their sons are Hale Irwin (Steve), Peter Senior (Mitchell), Lanny Wadkins (Tucker), Russ Cochran (Ryan), Bill Glasson (Max), Fred Funk (Taylor), Mike Hulbert (Justin), John Huston (Travis), Bobby Wadkins (Tucker), Dick Mast (Joshua) and Mike Reid (John).

-- Steve Elkington withdrew prior to the start of his round due to a migraine. His replacement in the field was club professional Bud Lintelman, who played his round with Tom Watson and Peter Jacobsen.

-- Peter Jacobsen, who claimed the 2004 U.S. Senior Open at this venue, opened with a 4-over 75 and is currently T103.

-- Hale Irwin, who resided in St. Louis for nearly 30 years, and leads the Champions Tour in career wins with 45, opened with a 1-under-par 70.

-- Bernhard Langer, who currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings as well as the 2013 money list, struggled in his opening round. Langer finished the day with an 8-over-par 79 and is currently T147.

-- There’s a familiar face on the leaderboard with Japan’s Kiyoshi Murata currently tied for third place with Sonny Skinner. Murota was tied for the 54-hole lead two years ago at Valhalla before a closing-round 72 led to a third-place finish in Louisville.

-- The field averaged 73.29 (+.2.29 over-par) for the round with 18 rounds in the 60s and 29 under par.

-- The most difficult hole was No. 10 with an average score of 4.555 (+.555 over par). Just two players made birdie on the hole – Jeff Freeman and Philip Golding. The easiest was No. 4 with an average score of 4.571
(-.429 under par).

-- There were just two eagles on Thursday by Gene Jones (No. 8) and Russ Cochran (No. 17).

-- David J. Russell led all players with 12 one-putts.