DEFENDING CHAMPION Jay Don Blake birdied three of the final four holes for a 6-under 64 to lead the 2012 Charles Schwab Cup Championship by a stroke after the first round at the Desert Mountain Club (Cochise Course) in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The 30 golfer event is the final event of the year on the US Champions Tour and will also decide the winner of the US$1 million annuity for the winner of the season-long Charles Schwab Cup.
Germany’s Bernhardt Langer is in the box seat to take that honor but number two and three in the standings – 2011 winner Tom Lehman and England’s Roger Chapman – still have a chance.
Langer and Lehman would win the season title with a victory, while Chapman needs a victory and some help from the other two.
In the first round Langer birdied the final two holes for a 69, Lehman shot a 68, and third-place Roger Chapman had a 69.
“I’m very happy with my finish,” a determined Langer said.
Fred Couples was also happy after playing his first full tournament round after two months out with his notorious back problems.
“Beginner’s luck,” Couples joked after birdieing the final two holes to finish tied for third. “I hit the ball solid. I’m thrilled to death to be 4 under.”
Australia’s Peter Senior has some work to do after carding a 2-over 72. Senior had a roller coaster round with five bogeys and three birdies.
Australian TV Coverage
There is live Foxtel coverage of the event in Australia.
Friday – Monday 7.30am – 10am.2012 Charles Schwab Cup Championship: Leaderboard