Regions Tradition: Round One

Notes from the 2012 Regions Tradition Round One on Thursday, June 7

From Jessica Sciacca with the Bruno Event Team:

Leaderboard:  T1)Bill Glasson – 34-32—66 (-6), Dan Forsman – 34-32 – 66 (-6); 3) Fred Funk – 33-34—67 (-5); 4) Bernhard Langer - 35-33—68 (-4); T5) Brad Bryant -- 33-36—69 (-3), Russ Cochran  - 35-34—69 (-3), Tom Lehman – 34-35 – 69 (-3), Bruce Fleisher– 36-33 – 69 (-3)

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s. Winds were from the ENE at 5-10 mph. Friday's forecast calls for partly cloudy weather with highs in the mid-to-upper 80s.

Bill Glasson and Dan Forsman share the opening-round lead at the Regions Tradition after each fired 6-under-par 66 on Thursday. Glasson, who made his Champions Tour debut in Birmingham in 2010 at the Regions Charity Classic, played in the first pairing in the morning with Fulton Allem and held the clubhouse lead until late in the afternoon when Forsman matched his 6-under-par 66. Forsman's round included four consecutive birdies on Nos. 11-14 and just one bogey during the day. Fred Funk is third, one stroke behind.  

The last time Glasson  shared the first-round lead was at the 1997 Las Vegas Invitational where he shared the lead with John Adams. Glasson went on to win the last of seven PGA TOUR titles.

One of the keys for Bill Glasson on Thursday was his putting. He was one of four players in the field to need just 24 putts during his round and he also one-putted 12 of his 18 holes, including seven of the final nine. Glasson had come into the round ranked 50thon the Champions Tour in Putts Per Round.  

Dan Forsman's 6-under-par 66 was his lowest round in this tournament in 17 rounds and it was just his second round in the 60s in that span. The other was a second-round 3-under-par 69 in 2008 when the event was played at the Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort in Bend, Oregon.

In his first six tournaments this year, Bill Glasson posted a round in the 60s in five of his opening rounds, but since that time he had finished over par in the first round in his last three tournaments prior to today's 6-under-par 66.  

Bill Glasson, Fred Funk and Larry Mize were the only three players in the 76-man field to post a bogey-free round.

Fred Funk, a two-time winner of this tournament (2008, 2010), is off to a good start. Funk shot a 5-under-par 67 and will begin Friday's second round in third place.

The top three players in the field are all using their sons as caddies this week. Bill Glasson is using his son, Max, while Dan Forsman's son, Tommy, is handling those duties this week. Fred Funk's caddie this week is his son, Taylor.

The last time there were first-round co-leaders at this tournament was in 2010 when D. A Weibring and Tom Lehman fired 5-under-par 67s.

This is the fourth consecutive year defending champion Tom Lehman has started the event with a round in the 60s. He posted rounds of 67 each of the previous three years in Round One before shooting a 3-under-par 69 today.

The 6-under-par 66s turned in by Bill Glasson and Dan Forsman are the best opening-round scores since Brad Bryant posted a 62 in 2009.

The field averaged 73.250, nearly a stroke lower than last year's opening-round average of 74.179. There were eight rounds in the 60s and 19 sub-par rounds compared to six rounds in the 60s and 19 sub-par rounds in 2011. No. 9 was the most difficult hole on Thursday with an average score of 4.487. There were just four birdies on the hole – Gary Hallberg, Wayne Levi, Joey Sindelar and Jay Haas. The easiest hole was No. 3 and it yielded three eagles and 30 birdies. There was just one bogey on the hole.

Sixty-year-old Wayne Levi turned in another strong round in the first round at Shoal Creek. Levi opened with a 4-under-par 68 a year ago and followed with a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday. Levi is currently T9.

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