U.S. Senior Open R1

Toms and Stricker tied for lead at Notre Dame

June 27-30
Warren Golf Course Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
$4,000,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Defending champion David Toms and Steve Stricker tied for the lead on Thursday with rounds of 8-under 62 in an opening round that yielded a record number of scores under par on rain-softened Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.


”I saw some good scores from this morning before I teed off, and it looked like there were birdies to be made out there,” said the 52-year-old Stricker, who made his Senior Open debut with seven birdies and a 30-foot eagle putt on the 17th hole to catch Toms.

Toms had 10 birdies, a record for the U.S. Senior Open, playing in the morning. They were two strokes ahead of Kirk Triplett and Jerry Kelly.

Stricker has split his time this season playing the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions, where he won his only major in the Regions Tradition last month. He had to put behind him the disappointment of last week at the American Family Insurance Championship – the Champions event he hosts in Madison, Wisconsin – when Stricker missed the winning putt and then lost in a playoff won by Kelly.

”I didn’t sleep well Sunday and Monday – it was eating at me,” Stricker said. ”I was cranky and so was my wife (Nicki, his caddie). My focus was to get rest and get re-energized.”

Toms, winner of the 2001 PGA Championship and a one-stroke winner at last year’s U.S. Senior Open at the Broadmoor, just wanted to get off to a good start.


”When you are the defending champion, you just want to get out there, play golf and try to be in the tournament after the first day and not shoot yourself out of it,” said Toms, whose morning round matched previous 62s posted in past Senior Opens by Loren Roberts, Brandt Jobe and Triplett.

Stricker just missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 61.

The course, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, didn’t put much of a defense from an inch of rain that fell overnight, and 15 inches of rain since May 15. A total of 42 players were under par – 23 in the afternoon – to set a U.S. Senior Open record. The previous mark was 40 rounds under par at Salem Country Club in Massachusetts two years ago.

”I certainly hope it dries up a little bit,” said Toms, who birdied his last four holes – all in the 12- to 15-foot range – for a 29 on the back nine. ”Yesterday afternoon the golf course was perfect. For a guy that doesn’t hit it very far, I didn’t want to see it rain last night. The shorter the golf course can play, the better I feel about it.”

The 57-year-old Triplett, who is still searching for his first major, squeezed seven birdies against one bogey out of his morning round of 64 that Kelly, who was one of the runners-up last year to Toms in Colorado, matched in the afternoon with his seven birdies and a three-putt bogey.

”I think this course in some ways just forces you to shoot at the flag because you can’t really figure it out,” Triplett said. ”You’re going to struggle to make pars anyway. You might as well go at it. The pins are such you’re not going make a lot of 30-footers, but you can make some 15-footers, and I made a bunch of those.”

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Kelly liked his position despite reaching 6 under with six birdies before his three-putt bogey at No. 7 – his 16th of the round – slowed his momentum.

”I still get the ball in the fairway, I managed myself well when I did get in the rough and I got the ball on the green,” Kelly said. ”These are tricky greens. They held up well for how soft they were.”

Three players shot 65s – Duffy Waldorf and Toru Suzuki of Japan in the afternoon and Vijay Singh in the morning.

Bernhard Langer and Retief Goosen, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame two weeks ago, were among those at 66. Two-time Senior Open champion Kenny Perry was another shot behind.

Tom Watson shot his age with a 69. Gary Nicklaus opened with a 68 while watched by his parents, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus.


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
T1
David Toms
-8
62
T1
Steve Stricker
-8
62
T3
Kirk Triplett
-6
64
T3
Jerry Kelly
-6
64
T5
Vijay Singh
-5
65
T5
Duffy Waldorf
-5
65
T5
Toru Suzuki
-5
65
T8
Retief Goosen
-4
66
T8
Miguel Angel Jiménez
-4
66
T8
Mark R. Brown
-4
66
T8
Chris DiMarco
-4
66
T8
Bernhard Langer
-4
66
T8
Billy Andrade
-4
66
T14
Bob Estes
-3
67
T14
Kenny Perry
-3
67
T14
Jeff Sluman
-3
67
T14
Scott Parel
-3
67
T14
Kevin Sutherland
-3
67
T14
Joe Durant
-3
67
T14
Paul Goydos
-3
67
T21
Wes Short, Jr.
-2
68
T21
Gene Sauers
-2
68
T21
Ken Tanigawa
-2
68
T21
Fran Quinn
-2
68
T21
Jesús Rivas
-2
68
T21
Jong-Duck Kim
-2
68
T21
Billy Mayfair
-2
68
T21
Colin Montgomerie
-2
68
T21
Corey Pavin
-2
68
T21
Mark O’Meara
-2
68
T21
Tom Lehman
-2
68
T21
Gary Nicklaus
-2
68
T21
Woody Austin
-2
68
T34
Kirk Hanefeld
-1
69
T34
Tommy Armour III
-1
69
T34
Tim Petrovic
-1
69
T34
Tom Watson
-1
69
T34
Kohki Idoki
-1
69
T34
Jeff Gallagher
-1
69
T34
Jim Estes
-1
69
T34
Clark Dennis
-1
69
T34
Fred Funk
-1
69
T43
Jean-Francois Remesy
E
70
T43
Greg Meyer
E
70
T43
Jay Haas
E
70
T43
Gary Orr
E
70
T43
Brandt Jobe
E
70
T43
Stephen Ames
E
70
T43
Roger Chapman
E
70
T43
Tom Pernice Jr.
E
70
T43
John Cook
E
70
T43
Lee Janzen
E
70
T43
Brad Lardon
E
70
T43
Kent Jones
E
70
T43
Doug Garwood
E
70
T43
Paul Streeter
E
70
T43
Paul Lawrie
E
70
T43
Ken Duke
E
70
T43
Jeff Maggert
E
70
T43
Esteban Toledo
E
70
T43
Scott Verplank
E
70
T62
Robert Rannow
1
71
T62
Steve Larick
1
71
T62
Cliff Kresge
1
71
T62
Scott Dunlap
1
71
T62
Christopher Williams
1
71
T62
Paul Broadhurst
1
71
T62
Michael McCoy (a)
1
71
T62
Sean Knapp (a)
1
71
T62
Steve Jones
1
71
T62
Loren Roberts
1
71
T62
Peter Fowler
1
71
T62
Brad Bryant
1
71
T62
Donald Wright
1
71
T62
Roger Rowland
1
71
T76
David Plumb
2
72
T76
Mark Calcavecchia
2
72
T76
Phillip Price
2
72
T76
Bart Bryant
2
72
T76
Tommy Tolles
2
72
T76
Steve Flesch
2
72
T76
Scott McCarron
2
72
T76
Olin Browne
2
72
T76
Jarmo Sandelin
2
72
T76
Tom Werkmeister
2
72
T76
Kevin King (a)
2
72
T76
Scott Paris
2
72
T76
Mike Meehan
2
72
T76
Ray Morton (a)
2
72
T76
Jay Gregory (a)
2
72
T76
Steve Sear
2
72
T76
Greg Kraft
2
72
T76
Glen Day
2
72
T76
Prayad Marksaeng
2
72
T76
Rocco Mediate
2
72
T76
Michael Campbell
2
72
T76
Marco Dawson
2
72
T76
Willie Wood
2
72
T76
Dick Mast
2
72
T76
Mark Mance (a)
2
72
T101
Tim Hogarth (a)
3
73
T101
Jim Schuman
3
73
T101
Kevin Hayashi
3
73
T101
Gary Sowinski
3
73
T101
Jeff Coston
3
73
T101
Magnus P. Atlevi
3
73
T101
Thomas Levet
3
73
T101
Robert Sheats (a)
3
73
T101
Dennis Wells
3
73
T101
Chris Hunsucker
3
73
T101
Mike Mitchell
3
73
T101
Jay Williamson
3
73
T101
Tom Byrum
3
73
T101
Stephen Dodd
3
73
T101
Todd Hamilton
3
73
T101
Darren Clarke
3
73
T101
Jeff Brehaut
3
73
T118
Mike Genovese
4
74
T118
Tom Kite
4
74
T118
Shaun Micheel
4
74
T118
Steve Jurgensen
4
74
T118
Tim Dunlavey (a)
4
74
T118
Marion Dantzler
4
74
T118
Brian Cooper
4
74
T118
Miguel Angel Martin
4
74
T118
Bob Royak (a)
4
74
T127
Roger Hoit (a)
5
75
T127
Richard Gilkey
5
75
T127
Richard Dukelow
5
75
T127
Tommy Brennan (a)
5
75
T127
Bret Burroughs
5
75
T132
Chris Smith
6
76
T132
Jon Fiedler
6
76
T132
Jeffrey Wilson (a)
6
76
T132
Tony Soerries (a)
6
76
T132
Gary Rusnak
6
76
T132
Todd Schaap (a)
6
76
T132
Trevor Dodds
6
76
T132
Kevin VandenBerg (a)
6
76
T140
Carey Hodsden
7
77
T140
Eddie Hargett (a)
7
77
T140
Roger Newsom (a)
7
77
T140
Ben Bates
7
77
T140
Monte Scheinblum
7
77
T140
Scott Taylor
7
77
T140
Mark Morgan (a)
7
77
T147
Don Berry
8
78
T147
Ron Schroeder
8
78
T149
Robin Bradbury (a)
9
79
T149
Jeff New (a)
9
79
T149
Alan Phillips
9
79
152
Paul Norris
11
81
153
Tucker Sampson (a)
12
82
WD
Scott Hoch
57
WD
Paul Trittler
51