AMERICAN golfer Tom Kite shot a USGA championship record 28 on his front nine to lead the 2012 US Senior Open after the first round at the Indianwood Golf & Country Club Old Course in Lake Orion, Michigan.
“I thought there would be some good scores but I certainly didn’t see any 28s or anything like that,” Kite said after an early seven-hole blitz paved his way to a 5-under-par 65 and a one shot lead over compatriot Lance Ten Broeck and Germany’s Bernhard Langer.
Kite’s 28 is the lowest nine-hole score in USGA championship history and included an eagle 2 on the par-4 fourth hole where Kite sunk his 155 yard approach shot.
“It was a lot of fun,” Kite said. “You don’t get rounds like that very often, especially in major championships. The hole just seemed large, and I was hitting some nice shots and, obviously, getting some good breaks.”
The fourth hole eagle was the first of three straight red numbers and started a stretch of five in six holes.
“That’s one of those crazy holes,” Kite said. “The second is a blind shot. Hit a drive up the right-hand side, just snuck into the semi-rough. I had 155 yards, just playing an 8-iron and letting it release onto the green. The people up there just started getting louder and louder and louder and louder. All of a sudden, arms went up as the ball went in. I never saw it obviously. Just relied on their reaction.”
Kite’s only stumble came at the par-3 17th where he made double bogey.
“You’re going to have spells on a golf course,” he said. “You’re not going to continue that streak that I had. Those don’t come around that often. Actually, I was pleased with the way I played the back side. It was a good, solid nine holes of golf until I got to the 17th hole. And then I kind of messed up there.”
Only Seiji Ebihara with his 27 at the 2002 Senior PGA Championship at Firestone has ever shot a lower number in a major.
Australia’s best was Peter Fowler who started with a bang with birdies on 1 and 3 and snuck another one in at 15. Unfortunately, the finish was not so good with bogeys on 12, 17 & 18. The European Senior Tour star finished on even tied for 29th.
Peter Senior also started with a birdie on the par-5 first but lost the advantage on the very next hole and there was another bogey on the 4th. He will be heartened by his blemish free 1-under back nine that featured a birdie on the 12th. He finished with a 1-over 71.2012 US Senior Open Leaderboard