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2014 AT&T Championship (the 24th of 26 Charles Schwab Cup events on the 2014 Champions Tour), San Antonio, Texas, October 24-26, 2014; TPC San Antonio (AT&T Canyons), Par/Yards: 36-36–72/6,923 – First-Round Notes

Weather: Sunny with highs in the mid-80s and light winds from the SE at 5-10 mph.

First-Round Leaderboard:

T1. John Cook 65/-7
T1. Marco Dawson 65/-7
3. Scott Dunlap 66/-6
T4. Bart Bryant 67/-5
T4. Jay Haas 67/-5
T4. Tom Lehman 67/-5
T4. Peter Senior 67/-5
T4. Wes Short, Jr. 67/-5
T4. Kirk Triplett 67/-5

First-Round Recap:

John Cook and Marco Dawson matched 65s to share the first-round lead at the 30th AT&T Championship. Dawson used a run of five consecutive birdies midway through his round to help post his 7-under-par score, while Cook’s bogey-free round included five birdies and an eagle. It marks the first time two players have been tied for the first-round lead at this tournament since Fred Couples and Steve Lowery both shot 65 on Friday in 2011.

John Cook (65/-7)

Got off to a good start in his quest to win a third AT&T Championship (2007, 2008), matching his best opening-round score in this tournament (65 in 2007 and in 2010).

In addition to a pair of victories on the Champions Tour in San Antonio, Cook also finished T3 in both 2010 and 2011 as well as fifth in 2009.

Cook won his 10th career title last month at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, ending a victory drought of 39 tournaments. It was Cook’s first win since the 2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai 20 months ago.

Cook’s win vaulted him up into the top-30 on the 2014 money list for good, qualifying him for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Cook missed 10 weeks early in the year with a fractured back.

Cook’s win at Pebble Beach, coupled with the first of his 11 PGA TOUR career titles at the 1981 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, allowed him to join Hale Irwin as the only other player to pull off titles on both Tours on the Monterey Peninsula. It also marked the 16th time in Champions Tour history (14 different professionals) that a player won titles on each Tour at the same venue.

Marco Dawson (65/-7)

Fired a 7-under 65 at TPC San Antonio, his best opening-round score on the Champions Tour since shooting 63 on Friday at the 3M Championship. Score today marked the ninth time in the last 10 events that he’s opened with a round in the 60s.

Started the 2014 season as a non-exempt player, but open qualified five times during the first half of the year and eventually played his way into the top 30 with current earnings of $719,714 (18th).

Best finish this year in his rookie season is a T3 at the 3M Championship…Followed up that performance with a T4 at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Played some of his best golf in major championships — T5 at the U.S.Senior Open, T9 at the Regions Tradition and the Senior PGA Championship.

Finished T31 at last fall’s National Qualifying Tournament at TPC Scottsdale.

Won once on the Web.com Tour, claiming the 2002 LaSalle Bank Open.

Made over 400 starts in his PGA TOUR career and best finish was T2 at the 1995 Greater Milwaukee Open…Also was T6 at the 1996 Buick Invitational.

Tournament Notes:

In the 29-year history of the AT&T Championship, just three winners have recorded any round of par/higher – J.C. Snead (Rd. 2/73/1993), Jim Albus (Rd. 3/73/1994), Phil Blackmar (Rd. 1/72/2009). A total of nine of the last 10 winners on the Champions Tour have posted every round in the 60s en route to their victory.

Also in the long history of the AT&T Championship, only four first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this event – Jim Albus (1994), Fred Funk (2006), Fred Couples (2011) and Kenny Perry (2013). On the 2014 Champions Tour, eight first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win.

For the fourth time in the last five years, the first-round leader/co-leader has posted a 65 to start the AT&T Championship. During this recent stretch, the only year when 65 didn’t lead after play on Friday was in 2012 when Mark Calcavecchia held the top spot after shooting 67.

Defending champion Kenny Perry carded a 4-under 68 (T12). Perry is attempting to become the fourth player in tournament history to successfully defend a title. Lee Trevino (1991-92), Jim Albus (1994-95) and John Cook (2007- 2008) are the only other players to win on the Champions Tour in consecutive years in San Antonio.

Esteban Toledo (69) got off to a good start in his quest to earn a spot in next week’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma. Toledo came into this week in the 31st position and is currently on the outside looking in.

Colin Montgomerie, currently in second place in the 2014 Charles Schwab Cup race, got off to a good start this week with a 4-under 68 (T12). Montgomerie trails Schwab Cup leader Bernhard Langer by 771 points and needs a high finish this week to cut into Langer’s lead heading into the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week. Langer started slowly today, carding a 1-under 71 (T36). Next week after the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the player earning the most points will receive a $1 million annuity.

Jay Haas, last week’s winner at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn, shot 5-under 67 today, his 40th round in the 60s of 61 played this year. The 60-year-old Haas has had just one score above par in 2014. Haas’ round today extended his streak of par/better rounds to 34 in a row, the second best streak in Champions Tour history. Haas started his run at the final round of this year’s Regions Tradition in mid-May. Only Loren Roberts’ streak of 37 rounds of par/better scores (2006/2007) is better than Haas.

With favorable weather conditions, the TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Canyons Course played to a scoring average of 71.111 compared to 72.321 in the opening round of last year’s tournament. There were 43 sub-par rounds posted in Round 1 this year versus 35 rounds below par-72 in Round 1 last year and 42 sub-par rounds on Friday in 2012.

Jeff Sluman withdrew on Monday of tournament week, ending a streak of consecutive appearances at 102 consecutive. It marked the first time Sluman has missed a Champions Tour event since the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn.

Steve Elkington withdrew prior to the start of the tournament with a pinched nerve in his shoulder and was replaced by Gary Hallberg, who took advantage of his opportunity, shooting a 5-under 67.

Source: PGA Tour

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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