ST. LOUIS: Paul Goydos, Doug Barron and Marco Dawson each shot 5-under 66 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ inaugural Ascension Charity Classic.
Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Wes Short Jr., Steve Flesch and Cliff Kresge were a stroke back on Norwood Hills’ West Course, the tree-lined layout where Ben Hogan won the 1948 PGA Championship for his second major title.
Goydos had six birdies and bogeys in his morning round.
“I had a good day,” Goydos said. “I think also playing in the morning was a little softer and a little more inviting didn’t hurt either. But I hit a lot of fairways, I hit a lot of greens and I made a lot of putts and that’s usually a good formula. It’s amazing how that works.
John Daly opened with a 68.
“It’s an old traditional golf course,” Daly said. “It’s something we don’t get to play a lot anymore and it’s really cool.”
Daly went to Helias High School in Jefferson City, also starring as a kicker and punter. On Wednesday night, he threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers-Cardinals game – a toss he unsuccessfully tried to fire over the screen behind the plate.
“St. Louis has always been a great fan base of any sport,” Daly said. “Bellerive was crazy a couple years ago. It’s just so awesome. They’ve always been a great town, a great city of sports. Love the Cardinals, love their Blues, and that’s what you love about coming here, it’s just a great, great fan base city and it’s good to have them on my side.”
Furyk bogeyed the par-4 17th to fall out of the tie for the lead.
“I got off to a fast start, that’s for sure, birdieing four of the first six,” Furyk said. “Did a good job of really hitting a lot of fairways, I drove the ball really well today, excited about that. These greens are severe so there’s times where it’s tough to get the ball close or it’s tough to put the ball in a position where you can be aggressive with the putter.”