Notebook: Shaw Charity Classic, Rd. 1

August 30, 2013
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Mostly sunny in the morning before becoming cloudy in the afternoon. Winds were light in the AM, increasing in the afternoon from the NW at 15-30 mph with occasional higher gusts. Daytime highs were in the mid-70s.

Current Leaderboard: 1. Rocco Mediate 63/-8; T2. Bart Bryant 64/-7, Rod Spittle 64/-7, Jeff Sluman 64/-7, Bobby Clampett 64/-7; T6. Michael Allen 65/-6, Sandy Lyle 65/-6, Scott Hoch 65/-6, David Frost 65/-6, Craig Stadler 65/-6

Buoyed by a course-record 8-under 64, Rocco Mediate holds sole possession of the lead after the opening round of the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.

After a 1-under 34 on the front nine, Mediate blistered the back nine, posting a 7-under 29 which included a pair of eagles on Nos. 15 and 18.

Mediate’s 63 fell short his low round on the Champions Tour. Earlier this year he shot an 11-under 61 in the second round of the Allianz Championship where he would go on to win his Champions Tour debut by two strokes over Bernhard Langer and Tom Pernice, Jr.

More notes

-- One of the other standouts in the opening round of the tournament was Canadian native Rod Spittle (Niagara Falls). He shot a 7-under 64 and is currently T2, one back of Rocco Mediate. Spittle is a two-time winner of the Canadian Amateur and also owns a win at the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship in 2010.

-- In addition to Spittle, two other Canadians were in the field. Jim Rutledge (Victoria, B.C.) shot a 2-over 73 and Dave Barr (Westbank, B.C.) shot an even-par 71. This was Barr’s first start in an event on Tour since the 2010 Montreal Championship.

-- For the fourth consecutive event, Bart Bryant opened with a round in the 60s when he shot a 7-under 64 on Friday. Bryant, who became the Champions Tour’s 1,000th winner when he claimed the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open two weeks ago, had eight birdies and just one bogey.  

-- Gene Jones made his first hole-in-one on the Champions Tour when he aced No. 14 with a 9-iron from 152 yards. It was the sixth ace on the Champions Tour this year.

-- Rocco Mediate was not the only player to have a pair of eagles on Friday. Esteban Toledo had eagles on Nos. 11 and 15. The last time two players made a pair of eagles in the same round was in 2011 when Keith Fergus and Boonchu Ruangkit did so in the first round of the Songdo IBD Championship in South Korea.

Toledo was a combined 6-under on the four par-5s in the opening round. In addition to his two eagles, he had birdies on the other two.

-- Fred Couples was credited with a 341-yard drive on No. 4 on Friday.

-- Hole Nos. 1 and 2 ranked as the two most difficult on Friday. No. 1 was the hardest at 4.185 (+.185), while No. 2 averaged 4.136 (+.136). The easiest hole was No. 15, a par 5. It yielded six eagles and 47 birdies and had an average score of 4.309 (-.691).

-- Overall, the field averaged 69.074 in the opening round. That is the lowest scoring average in a round for a full-field event on the Champions Tour this year and the lowest since 2011 at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn where the average was 68.638 in the final round. That was a par-72 golf course.

-- There were 16 eagles on Friday.

-- One week after finishing T4 at the Boeing Classic, Bobby Clampett continues his solid play. He shot a 7-under-par 64 and is currently T2. His 64 matched his career low on the Champions Tour. He also had a 64 at the Regions Tradition and the Montreal Championship in 2010.

-- Mediate, Spittle, Jeff Sluman, Mark Brooks, Jay Haas and Jeff Freeman all posted bogey-free rounds.

-- A total of 59 players finished under par on Friday with 46 rounds in the 60s.