NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Jay Haas, Fuzzy Zoeller, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Purtzer, Eduardo Romero and R.W. Eaks shot 6-under 65s
on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's
"I played very aggressive," said Romero, who is from
Argentina. "I think I will have to play aggressive the whole
A lack of rain this winter on the course near the Pacific Ocean
has caused a lack of rough and it was evident in the scores.
The scoring average of the 78 players in the event was 69.76,
nearly two strokes lower than the Champions Tour average.
Purtzer, who won the event in 2004 aided by a course-record 60,
said the rounds could go lower on the weekend.
"I think not having any rain hurts the course a little bit,"
Purtzer said. "It makes the course a little defenseless.
"The golf course is playing fast also. The par 5s, most of the
guys can get there in two on two of them. The fairways are hard and
Haas, who along with Crenshaw had the only bogey-free rounds
among the leaders, said, "I think you'll see someone shoot a low
score. There are a lot of guys close together now."
Crenshaw, who had not recorded a round in the 60s in his six
previous rounds, found his game at the 6,584-yard layout, the
second shortest on the tour's schedule.
"We enjoy playing this golf course," Crenshaw said. "It's not
a killer course. You have to place your shots on the green. There
are subtle tilts on this green that I find very interesting."
Though the course is short, it should not be mistaken for a
pushover, as Zoeller found out when he made a bogey on the
339-yard, par-4 first hole.
"It was like the pig and the hog on that hole," Zoeller said.
"Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. I tried to be too
aggressive and be a hog and I got slaughtered."