First-round observations from Open

October 14, 2010
Fred Albers, Special to

PGA TOUR Network correspondent Fred Albers will be offering observations this week from the Open. Listen to PGA TOUR Live coverage on XM 146/SIRIUS 209 or right here at PGATOUR.COM.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Practice rounds are overrated? Chris DiMarco did not hit a single shot at the CordeValle Golf Club until his 8:00 a.m. Thursday tee time. DiMarco arrived Tuesday night and looked over the course, but did not play on Wednesday. He quickly made friends with the course, hitting 13-14 fairways while taking just 27 putts to shoot 4-under 67.

• California here we come. The "Great Bear" state seemed to reward native sons in the opening round. Paul Goydos, John Mallinger, Tom Pernice Jr. and Jamie Lovemark all have California connections and are in the top seven.

• Leaderboards on the PGA TOUR do more than just give scores and stats. The computer boards also deliver interesting information about players. A lady was enjoying the small bios until she read Will McKenzie's note of information. "That can't be right," she questioned. It most certainly is. The leaderboard reported: "Will MacKenzie spent five years living out of his van while in Montana." Not your average route to the PGA TOUR, but MacKenzie lived a varied life before earning his TOUR card.

Rickie Fowler and Troy Merritt began play tied for the lead in the year-long Kodak Challenge. Both faced 8-foot birdie putts at the 17th and both missed. Each putt could have been worth $1,000,000 at season's end. It's important enough for Fowler to add another tournament to his schedule if he remains in the lead.