Going low

Joey Sindelar shot an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club.
Tom Purtzer was a stroke back after a 65, and David Edwards was in third with a 5-under 67.

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Nice ovation

Rich Contreras, who works at Valencia Country Club and got a sponsor’s exemption into the field, received a nice ovation as he walked off the 18th green after completing his opening nine holes Friday.
Contreras, who started on No. 10, shot a 3-over 39 on the back nine.
Contreras was playing with MIchael Turner of Sherman Oaks, who had a 35 on the back.

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Major additions

Among those playing for the first time at Valencia are 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize, 1991 British Open champion Ian Woosnam, 1983 PGA Championship winner Hal Sutton and Sandy Lyle, who won the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters.

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Black Knight is back

Gary Player is making his first appearance in this event since 2002. The 73-year-old South African, one of only five players to win all four major championships (the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA), opened with a 6-over 42 on the back nine.

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Turning 50

Tom Lehman, the former Wood Ranch assistant pro, is eligible to join the Champions Tour after turning 50 last Saturday.
“Turning 50 is a milestone,” Lehman said in a news release provided by the tour. “As a golfer, I’ve always been competitive and always wanted to play my best. I’ve enjoyed my years on the PGA Tour, but at some point, I’ll know when it’s time to move on.
“The Champions Tour is something I look forward to with a lot of anticipation. There’s a great camaraderie on the Champions Tour, but it’s also very competitive. It’s a great situation to be in, and I really look forward to that.”
Olin Browne (Occidental) turns 50 on May 22 and Tom Pernice Jr. (UCLA) reaches that age on Sept. 5.

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PGA Tour golfer hits shot in his underwear….no kidding

PGA Tour player Henrik Stenson hit a shot out of the mud in nothing but his white boxer briefs yesterday while playing in a group with Tiger Woods. Are you appalled? Did you think it was funny? Stenson explained that he didn’t want to get his clothes all muddy, but PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem would probably rather have had him send him a bill for the dry cleaning than look at him in his skivvies. Do you think Finchem will suspend Stenson? Someone finally found a way to divert the attention from Tiger.

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Fuzzy off to hot start

Fuzzy Zoeller was at 5 under through seven holes to take the early lead in the first round of the AT&T Champions Classic on Friday at Valencia Country Club.
Joey Sindelar was a stroke back, with seven players tied for third at 2 under.

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