Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oldcorn 73, Drummond 75, Torrance 78, Longmuir, Lyle 80 in first round

Langer shares lead on 66 in US PGA Senior championship

PARKER, Colorado. -- Germany's Florida-based Bernhard Langer has been a dominating force since joining the Champions Tour late in 2007, racking up 10 wins over that time.
He is, however, missing a major championship victory on the 50-and-over circuit.
That could change this week at Colorado Golf Club and the 71st Senior PGA Championship for the two-time Masters champion.
Langer, who fancies himself a "pretty decent wind player," was spectacular in the first round on Thursday when the wind kicked up to 35 mph at times, firing a 6-under 66 to tie the course record set by Robin Freeman an hour earlier. They share the lead, two shots clear of Brad Bryant and Tom Lehman, who had it to 5 under late in the day until a bogey at the last.
"There's different thoughts to playing in the wind," said Langer, a two-time winner on the Champions Tour in 2010 and a runner up in the 2008 Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill. "Obviously you've got to flight your ball and you've got to hit the shape that you're thinking you're going to hit. Because if you're thinking you're going to hit a draw and you're going to hit a fade into a crosswind, then it's a huge difference."
Playing the back nine first, Langer busted out of the gates and was actually 5 under through his first six holes, thanks to birdies on Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and a hole-out from just over 100 yards on the short, par-4 14th hole for eagle.
"I hit 3-iron off the tee and a full sand wedge and backed it up into the hole. That was pretty exciting," Langer said. "It's always nice to do it [make eagle], but you still have to play the rest, I still had 14 holes to go or 13, and I had to play them, whether I made eagle there or birdie or par. But, yeah, it's nice to get under, in the red numbers, get under par early and take it from there. It's certainly better than being a couple over."
Unlike Langer, success in the form of crystal trophies hasn't been a part of Freeman's journeyman career. In fact, in 276 starts on the PGA Tour, the 51-year-old has yet to record a victory.
Furthermore, he does not have full playing privileges on the Champions Tour and only made two previous starts before this week. One of those was a solid tie for 12th at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic on May 2.
Before heading to Parker for the Senior PGA Championship, Freeman had a new, oversized grip installed on his putter. The reason, Freeman said, is he has a tendency to get "handsy," which throws putts off line. With the oversized grip fitting snug in his palms, Freeman said the hands don't interfere and he can make a more consistent stroke.
Freeman wasn't kidding, either. He needed just 26 putts in Round 1, and at least five of those were over 15 feet in length.
"Probably the best putting round I had in maybe ever," Freeman said. "It was great. It was very good on the greens. I have caddie who is a great friend of mine, who is a PGA Professional named Lou Cooper, who has caddied for me this week. And he reads greens very well. And we did a lot of mapping of the greens in practice rounds this week. And he read them very well. I hit them the correct speeds and I made a few. So that was kind of fun."
In all, only 20 players broke par and a mere eight of those were in the 60s.
One of those in the 60s, also turned out to be the feel-good story of the day PGA Professional Bill Loeffler went from happy-to-be-here to serious contender after posting an impressive 3-under 69 and is just three shots off the pace with Champions Tour rookie Fred Couples, Bill Glasson and Tom Kite.
The Denver native ground his way to a 20th-place showing in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship last October to earn his spot in the field at Colorado Golf Club and an all-important "home game."
On Thursday, Loeffler couldn't have been more pleased with his efforts.
"I played above my expectations today, obviously," admitted Loeffler, the PGA General Manager and co-owner of Highlands Ranch Golf Club and the Links Golf Club in Denver. "I'm very grateful that it happened that way. The course was great. Beautiful. They prepared it and set it up I think in anticipation of what hopefully will not come, which are the high winds. But they set it up great, the greens were a little bit slower than yesterday's practice round. I would say maybe even significantly slower. It was just fun to play the golf course. I love the course. And I had a blast."
Not everyone had as much fun as Loeffler. Among the notables who struggled mightily in the opening round were Tommy Armour III and John Cook, each with a 6-over 78, Sandy Lyle with an 8-over 80 and former champions Loren Roberts and Denis Watson, each with a 5-over 77.
The players in the morning wave on Thursday certainly fared better. As the day wore on, the winds picked up and the greens were less forgiving. The tables will be turned on the current leaders Friday, as they tee off later in the day and will have to play through the brunt of the wind.
"It's always important to get as many birdies in any tournament as you can," regardless of the draw, Loeffler said.
Par 72
T1 - Robin Freeman  66
T1 - Bernhard Langer  66
T3 - Brad Bryant  68
T3 - Tom Lehman 68
T5 - Bill Loeffler  69
T5 - Bill Glasson  69
T5 - Fred Couples  69
T5 - Tom Kite  69
T9 - Dan Forsman  70
T9 - Chien Soon Lu  70
T9 - Nick Price  70
T12 - Dave Rummells  71
T12 - Lindy Miller 71
T12 - Chris Starkjohann 71
T12 - Michael Allen  71
T12 - Chip Beck 71
T12 - Mike Goodes  71
T12 - Jay Don Blake  71
T12 - Gary Hallberg  71
T12 - Scott Simpson  71
T21 - Kirk Hanefeld 72
T21 - Ben Crenshaw 72
T21 - Fred Funk 72
T21 - Tsukasa Watanabe 72
T21 - David Frost 72
T21 - Keith Fergus  72
T21 - Nick Job  72
T21 - Mark O'Meara  72
T29 - Olin Browne  73
T29 - Jay Haas 73
T29 - Bob Boyd 73
T29 - Tom Watson  73
T29 - Dick Mast  73
T29 - Bruce Fleisher 73
T29 - Bob Gilder 73
T29 - Chris Williams  73
T29 - Andrew Oldcorn  73
T29 - Russ Cochran 73
T29 - Eduardo Romero 73
T29 - Boonchu Ruangkit 73
T29 - Bruce Vaughan  73
T29 - Larry Mize  73
T43 - Des Smyth  74
T43 - Joe Ozaki 74
T43 - Angel Franco  74
T43 - Phil Blackmar  74
T43 - Leonard Thompson  74
T43 - Andy Bean  74
T43 - Jon Fiedler 74
T43 - R.W. Eaks 74
T43 - Bruce Summerhays 74
T43 - Tom Wargo  74
T43 - Jim Roy  74
T43 - Peter Senior  74
T43 - James Blair III  74
T43 - Don Pooley 74
T57 1 Jeff Coston  75
T57 1 Paul Daniels 75
T57 1 Ross Drummond  75
T57 1 Tom Purtzer 75
T57 1 Mike Zaremba 75
T57 1 David Arbuckle 75
T57 1 Bobby Clampett  75
T57 1 Trevor Dodds 75
T57 1 Ron Vlosich 75
T57 1 Keith Clearwater  75
T57 1 John Ross 75
T57 1 Bill Britton 75
T57 1 Mike Harwood  75
T57 1 David Peoples 75
T71 1 Peter Fowler  76
T71 1 Gene Jones  76
T71 1 Jimmy Hamilton 76
T71 1 Roger Chapman  76
T71 1 Gil Morgan 76
T71 1 Jodie Mudd 76
T71 1 Joey Sindelar  76
T71 1 D.A. Weibring 76
T71 1 Joe Bostic 76
T71 1 Walter Hall  76
T71 1 Darrell Kestner 76
T71 1 Bob Cameron  76
T71 1 Tim Simpson 76
T71 1 Jeffrey Roth 76
T71 1 Bobby Wadkins  76
T71 1 Hale Irwin  76
T71 1 Dave Merriman  76
T71 1 Fuzzy Zoeller  76
T71 1 Jim Rutledge  76
T71 1 Ted Schulz 76
T91 1 Cleve Coldwater 77
T91 1 Bill Longmuir 77
T91 1 Robert Thompson 77
T91 1 Loren Roberts 77
T91 1 Fulton Allem  77
T91 1 Mark Wiebe  77
T91 1 Bill Israelson 77
T91 1 Denis Watson 77
T91 1 Larry Nelson 77
T91 1 James Mason  77
T91 1 Bob Ford 77
T91 1 Curt Byrum 77
T91 1 Katsuyoshi Tomori 77
T91 1 Ronnie Black 77
T91 1 John Jacobs  77
T91 1 Bob Tway 77
T91 1 Tom Jenkins 77
T91 1 Jeff Sluman  77
T91 1 Mike San Filippo 77
T110 1 Jim White(CP) 78
T110 1 Fred Holton(CP) 78
T110 1 Tommy Armour III  78
T110 1 John Cook 78
T110 1 Steve Waugh 78
T110 1 Jet Ozaki  78
T110 1 Perry Arthur 78
T110 1 Glenn Ralph  78
T110 1 Gary Trivisonno 78
T110 1 Mark James 78
T110 1 Sam Torrance 78
T110 1 Hajime Meshiai  78
T110 1 Morris Hatalsky  78
T110 1 Tony Johnstone 78
T124 1 Gary Sowinski 79
T124 1 Scott Spence 79
T124 1 Mike Malaska 79
T124 1 Todd Smith 79
T124 1 David Eger  79
T124 1 Mike Reid 79
T124 1 Ed Sabo 79
T131 1 Michael Podolak  80
T131 1 Mike Hulbert 80
T131 1 Blaine McCallister  80
T131 1 Jim Woodward 80
T131 1 Sandy Lyle  80
T131 1 Andy North 80
T131 1 Rob Gibbons 80
T131 1 Jerry Tucker 80
T139 1 George Forster 81
T139 1 Ralph West 81
T139 1 Dale Douglass  81
T139 1 John Harris  81
T139 1 Bertus Smit 81
T139 1 Kevin Spurgeon  81
T139 1 Steve Haskins 81
T139 1 Rod Nuckolls 81
T147 1 Mark Carnevale  82
T147 1 Freddy Gibson 82
T149 1 Steve Veriato 83
T149 1 Doug Perry 83
151 1 David Thore 84
T152 1 Kim Thompson 85
T152 1 Mark Hayes 85
T152 1 Rocky Catalano 85



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