Pavin on track to maiden victory
Corey Pavin shot an opening 65 on Friday to secure a one-stroke lead in the first round of the SAS Championship in North Carolina
Corey Pavin shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to secure a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship at Cary in North Carolina
“I got off to a good start, played the front nine very well,” said the former US Open Champion and US Ryder Cup captain, who birdied six holes on the front nine as he sought to win his first Champions Tour title.
“I had just 10 putts on the front nine …yes, I hit the ball well.”
Nick Price, Gary Hallberg, Kenny Perry and defending champion Russ Cochran are tied for second heading into Saturday’s second round of this 54-hole tournament at the 7,137-yard Prestonwood Country Club.
JL Lewis, Peter Senior, Jeff Sluman and Rod Spittle all shot 67s to be two shots off the pace.
Tom Lehman, who leads the race for the Charles Schwab Cup and its $1 million prize, was part of a group tied at 3-under, some four shots behind Pavin.
Lehman, another former US Ryder Cup captain, is attempting to become the first golfer ever to win Player of the Year honors on the Nationwide Tour, the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour.
Price, who won the Toshiba Classic in March, has struggled to get his A Game back on track during the past two months.
He said he had finally discovered that he unknowingly had made a change in his backswing that had caused him to shorten his swing.
“And this,” he said, “after literally six really poor tournaments. The thing that I had worked the hardest on the last two years, I just neglected,” Price said. “It’s been very frustrating.
“But today was the best I’ve played since May, June, ball-striking-wise. All in all, it was an ‘A’ day for me, a really good day.”
Pavin said he also made a swing change this week after talking to Greg LaBelle, his swing coach, who made suggestions to Pavin after watching his swing via e-mail.
“I worked on it the last couple of days, and I made some changes,” Pavin said. “I really felt a lot more comfortable on the golf course today than I have in a long time.
“I did some work on my putter as well, and that was better.”
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
65 Corey Pavin
66 Gary Hallberg, Kenny Perry, Russ Cochran, Nick Price
67 Rod Spittle (Can), Jeff Sluman, Peter Senior (Aus), J.L. Lewis
68 Olin Browne, Jay Don Blake, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples, Steve Jones
Solid start for Sungjae Im at Sanderson Farms Championship: Can he land a second PGA Tour title?
The Korean posted a first round of 67 at the Country Club of Jackson as he made his 2021/22 seasonal bow.
Tyrrell Hatton shrugs off Ryder Cup disappointment to earn share of Dunhill lead
The 29-year-old is looking to win the event for a third time.
Shane Lowry fully focused on 2023 Ryder Cup despite getting ‘dog’s abuse’ in US
Lowry won one point from three matches on his Ryder Cup debut.
On this day in 2002: Europe beat the United States in the Ryder Cup
The hosts won 15½-12½ at The Belfry.
What Europe need to do to avoid further Ryder Cup embarrassment in Italy in 2023
Dustin Johnson became the first American since Larry Nelson in 1981 to compile a perfect 5-0 record in the 19-9 rout at Whistling Straits.
Lee Westwood would be ‘honoured’ by Ryder Cup captaincy but hopes to play again
The 48-year-old won his singles match against Harris English in a lost cause at Whistling Straits.
Ian Poulter says Europe’s youngsters can make them a Ryder Cup force again
The Englishman played in his seventh event at Whistling Straits.
USA’s raft of young stars target dominant Ryder Cup era
FedEx Cup winner Patrick Cantlay was one of six rookies on the victorious US side.
Padraig Harrington upbeat about European team’s future despite record defeat
The United States ran out 19-9 victors at Whistling Straits.
Jordan Spieth already anticipating Ryder Cup triumph in Europe in 2023
The home side cruised to a 19-9 success at Whistling Straits.