Four-way tie atop Tradition leaderboard

Updated: August 25, 2005, 9:53 PM ET
Associated Press

ALOHA, Ore. -- Dana Quigley could hardly believe he made a 45-foot eagle putt to close out the first round of the Tradition on Thursday.

"Seemed like 25," he said, joking. "I must be putting well."

The putt on No. 18 gave Quigley 5-under 67 and a share of the lead at the Tradition, the final major of the year on the Champions Tour.

Loren Roberts, John Harris and D.A. Weibring also were at 5 under at the Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in the suburbs west of Portland, where temperatures Thursday reached 90.

"I was amazed at how soft it was," Weibring said of the 7,150-yard South Course. "I know they haven't had a lot of rain, so they put some water on it."

R.W. Eaks, Walter Hall, Mark McCumber, Allen Doyle and Mark Johnson were in a group a shot back at 4-under 68.

Quigley joined the 50-and-over tour in 1997. He has won 10 times and has been a runner-up in 15 other tournaments. He is a two-time winner this year -- at the MasterCard Championship and the Bayer Advantage Classic.

Quigley was in a twosome with Weibring, a runner-up at the U.S. Senior Open and winner at Bruno's Memorial Classic.

"When you see a guy playing well, it tends to get you stirred up to play well," Quigley said. "We didn't spend much of the day looking for balls or seeing clubs being slammed to the ground."

Defending champion Craig Stadler was even after a first-round 72. Oregon native Peter Jacobsen, whose production company is running the tournament, shot a 71.

Quigley didn't get under par until after the turn and closed out the back nine with three birdies and the eagle.

"I kept telling myself to be patient. It's a four-day event," Quigley said. "It's a major and some of the guys are going to burn and disintegrate before the fourth day."

Harris had his best result of the season, finishing tied for third, last week in Seattle. In seven of the last eight tournaments, he's had first-round scores in the 60s.

"I need to take advantage of it and play all the way through," Harris said. "But it's a nice start."

In the final round of the event at the Reserve last year, Stadler closed with four straight birdies and finished with a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory and his second win in a major on the Champions Tour.

At the same time, he watched those around him on the leaderboard slide, most notably Jacobsen -- who double-bogeyed the No. 17 hole after an ill-fated shot he tried to make while standing in a creek.

Jacobsen bogeyed the final two holes on Thursday.

"Got off to a great start, then started missing fairways," Jacobsen said. "Really sloppy on the back nine."

The Tradition was played 14 years in Arizona before Jacobsen lobbied to relocate it. But for the first Oregon event in 2003, Jacobsen was 49 -- too young for the Champions Tour.

Jacobsen had staged the Fred Meyer Challenge, a popular pro-am, in Oregon for the 17 years before the Tradition. His sports management firm runs the tournament sponsored by Oregon window and door maker Jeld-Wen.

The purse for the Tradition is $2.5 million, with $375,000 going to the winner. ... Greg Norman withdrew from the event late last week, citing muscle fatigue. It's the same issue that kept him out of the PGA Championship. Curtis Strange also withdrew for personal reasons. ... David Eger won his second Champions Tour title last weekend, beating Tom Kite by three strokes in the Boeing Greater Seattle Classic. Eger shot a 74 on Thursday.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press