Chrysler Championship Round One: A Gay day for those without a care in the world
All those guys desperate for money and who do we get at the top? Brian Gay, who’s comfortably numb at 96th in the money list, and Mark Calcavecchia, who’s exempt anyway so it doesn’t matter where he is.
It seems nerves - and the course - are getting the better of those who really need to win because they are not doing well at all. It’s certainly a much different and tougher course from the birdie bonanza track we had last week - which marks out Gay’s seven under as a pretty fair day’s work.
Benign weather meant the course played the same throughout the day and it looks to me as if one big difference from last year was a combination of fast fairways and the rough. Last year the top 10 on the leaderboard ranked an average 26th for distance off the tee - first round this year that was 79th, while accuracy rankings were a bit lower than last year at 32nd. I heard at least one golfer “complaining” that the course’s dog-legs were punishing drives that were too long and some of the comments about the rough are unprintable. Suffice to say our leader ranked 129 for distance!
Iron work was again the key component though, aided and abetted in the case of Gay and Calcavecchia by a solid putter on greens that were indeed playing fast and furious.
Not too many other conclusions to draw at this stage. I suspect our eventual winner is still lurking down the field somewhere.
Interesting to see K J Choi, a winner here in 2002, four shots back. and Tom Pernice Jr a shot behind him. Someone whose stats suggest he loves playing in Florida, Pernice was supposed to be one of last week’s hot tips but missed the cut. So, better late than never. He’s probably about safe moneywise for the Tour Championship but it always pays to make sure doesn’t it?
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