Morgan starts well on home course
Gil Morgan is a member at Oak Tree Golf Club and lives within walking distance of the clubhouse. Until yesterday, he hadn't played a full round on his home course since October.
His lack of recent practice there didn't seem to matter much as Morgan shot a 5-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over playing partner Peter Jacobsen after the first round of the Senior PGA Championship at Edmond, Okla.
Tied at 3-under 68 were: 2001 Senior PGA champion Tom Watson; Jay Haas, who has won his last two Champions Tour events; and Loren Roberts, a three-time winner this year who has yet to finish out of the top 10 in eight previous Champions Tour events.
Hawai'i Golf Hall of Fame member David Ishii shot a 6-over 77.
The 59-year-old Morgan had six birdies on the 7,107-yard layout while recording his best competitive round there ever. It's the sixth time in his career he's led a Champions Tour major after one round.
Morgan played the occasional nine or 12 holes at Oak Tree in recent months, but never put together a full round, not even earlier this week. On the practice holes he did play this week, he didn't fare as well as he would've liked.
"Just getting started this afternoon, I felt a little apprehensive," Morgan said. "But I hit a good drive on No. 10 and made a birdie on the first hole. That kind of eased things up a little bit, and from there, I was able to play pretty well today. I made a couple of mistakes and recovered from both of those."
SMITH LEADS ST. JUDE
Chris Smith used some strong putting and a little creativity around the greens in shooting a 6-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn.
Smith, whose lone tour victory was the 2002 Buick Classic, needed only 24 putts in a six-birdie, bogey-free round.
D.A. Points shot a 66. Paul Azinger and Tom Pernice were among only four golfers teeing off in the afternoon to crack the top of the leaderboard with 67s.
SCRANTON AT 7-UNDER
Nancy Scranton, who has 18-month-old twins, shot a 7-under-par 65 and was tied with Meena Lee for the first-round lead at the LPGA Corning Classic in New York.
Brandie Burton, Kris Tamulis, Jeong Jang, Hee-Won Han and Thai rookie Virada Nirapathpongporn were one shot behind.
Scranton, 45, is one of 24 mothers on tour.
FOUR TIED FOR FIRST
Paul Casey finished birdie-eagle for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead after the first round of the BMW Championship at Virginia Water, England.
Casey is tied with Luke Donald, Nick Dougherty and Andrew McLardy. Donald hit every fairway and avoided every bunker for his 67.
Angel Cabrera, David Howell, Peter Lawrie and Raphael Jacquelin were a shot back.