Pavin leads Allianz Championship
Corey Pavin shot an 8-under 64 on Friday to take a two-shot lead over Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer and Peter Senior after the first round of the Allianz Championship.
Pavin, winless in 34 career starts in the Champions Tour, had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch to shoot a back-nine 29 at Broken Sound Golf Club.
He won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1995 US Open at Shinnecock Hills, and set the nine-hole scoring record of 8-under 26 in the 2006 US Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park.
"I don't usually shoot a lot of low scores, so it's kind of strange," Pavin said. "When I get in those situations, I really try to focus without thinking of too much of what I'm doing. When you start thinking about how many birdies you're making, you tend to mess up."
He had two second-place finishes last season.
"I think it's harder to win out here than on the PGA Tour, because almost all of these guys have won lots of tournaments and they know how to win," Pavin said.
Funk made his first start on the 50-and-over tour since July. He had a pair of thumb operations, eventually having a tendon in his left thumb fused last November. He had to grip a club in the operating room so the surgeon could make sure the thumb was fused in the proper position.
"That was a big ordeal," Funk said. "I'm just happy to have a career again."
Langer won the 2010 tournament on his way to player of the year honours and the Boca Raton resident serves as the unofficial host of the event. Friday night, he had more than 80 players and family members come to his house for dinner.
"This is like a home tournament for me," Langer said.
Senior held a one-shot lead going into the final round last year in the event, but faded to 17th after a 77. Senior also is winless on the Champions Tour. The Australian came close last year with a trio of second-place finishes, including two playoff losses.
"The only goal I have this year is I want to win," Senior said. "I probably had three or four chances to win last year, but never produced the goods coming down the stretch. It would be nice to get that out of the way."
The first full-field event of the year started in steady rain and the sun finally broke through in the afternoon.
Mark Calcavecchia, riding a streak of 11 top-10 finishes, was a stroke back along with Chip Beck, Mark Brooks and John Huston. Joey Sindelar was at 68 along with Jay Haas, Bill Glasson, David Frost, Brad Faxon and Mike Goodes.
Defending champion Tom Lehman opened with a 71. Dan Forsman, the winner of the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii on January 22, had a 72.
LEADING FIRST -ROUND SCORES
64 – Corey Pavin 35-29
66 – Peter Senior 32-34, Fred Funk 33-33, Bernhard Langer 33-33
67 – Chip Beck 33-34, Mark Brooks 35-32, Mark Calcavecchia 35-32, John Huston 35-32
68 – Joey Sindelar 34-34, Bill Glasson 35-33, David Frost 34-34, Mike Goodes 34-34, Brad Faxon 34-34, Jay Haas 35-33
69 – Jim Carter 34-35, Morris Hatalsky 34-35, Scott Simpson 33-36, Larry Mize 36-33, Gary Hallberg 33-36, Jeff Sluman 33-36, Loren Roberts 35-34, Jay Don Blake 35-34, Lonnie Nielsen 34-35, Hale Irwin 36-33, Greg Bruckner 34-35
70 – Chien Soon Lu 34-36, Steve Lowery 34-36, Mark W. Johnson 37-33, Allen Doyle 34-36, Vicente Fernandez 38-32, J.L. Lewis 36-34, Kenny Perry 36-34, Michael Allen 36-34, Brad Bryant 36-34, Olin Browne 36-34, Nick Price 36-34, Bruce Vaughan 38-32, Curtis Strange 39-31, Jim Rutledge 34-36
71 – Tommy Armour III 35-36, Tom Byrum 36-35, Tom Lehman 37-34, Larry Nelson 34-37, Russ Cochran 35-36, John Cook 34-37, David Eger 37-34, Mark McNulty 35-36, Phil Blackmar 37-34, Joe Daley 36-35, P.H. Horgan III33-38,
72 – Bobby Wadkins 39-33, Tom Jenkins 35-37, Mike Reid 37-35, Jim Gallagher, Jr.38-34, Craig Stadler 37-35, Bruce Fleisher 36-36, Peter Jacobsen 36-36, Blaine McCallister 34-38, Mark Wiebe 35-37, Dan Forsman 35-37, Jeff Hart 36-36,