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Senior Players notebook: Mediate five back after first round

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 8:45 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Greensburg native Rocco Mediate hits off the 15th fairway during the first round of the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Thursday, June 27, 2013, at Fox Chapel Golf Club.

Rocco Mediate has some work to do, but he said there is plenty of time for him at the Constellation Senior Players Championship.

“If I can go out and shoot 4- or 5-under-par then we're right back in the ball game,” Mediate said after shooting even-par 70 on Thursday at Fox Chapel Golf Club. “Of course, that's easier said than done.”

The Greensburg native will need more cooperation from his putter Friday morning when he opens second-round play five strokes behind leader and good friend John Huston.

Mediate made just two birdies in the first round, and he missed 6-foot birdie putts on No. 7 and No. 9. He did hole a 30-foot putt on No. 18, his ninth hole Thursday, after his approach shot hit the flagstick and left him with a lot of green to negotiate for his par.

Mediate has raved about the course at Fox Chapel, and he said conditions were as good as could have been expected given the weather. Mediate, who is scheduled to tee off at 10:50 a.m. Friday, said he needs to get off to a fast start in the second round.

“I wish I could blame it on the course,” Mediate said with a laugh, “but it was me.”

How low will they go?

Fred Couples shot 7-under 63 in the second round last year, and he said there is the potential for players to match that score if Fox Chapel stays wet.

Couples could duplicate his own feat after shooting 4-under 66 in the first round to put him a shot behind Huston and in a tie for second place with three other players.

The soft conditions have allowed players to fire at flagsticks, and that likely isn't going to change in the second round. More rain has been forecast, and tournament officials have moved back starting times and will again send groups off Nos. 1 and 10.

“You watch; someone will light up (the course) because it's so soft,” Joel Edwards said after shooting 3-under 67.

A new look

Duffy Waldorf is one shot off the lead after firing a 4-under 66, and he is in a familiar position relative to the leaderboard.

Waldorf has been tied for first following the first round in three of the last four Champions Tour events, though he has yet to win this season.

Known for his colorful outfits when he played on the PGA Tour, Waldorf sported a decidedly more conservative look Thursday with a black hat and a dark shirt. When asked about the flowered shirts that were his signature on the PGA Tour, Waldorf said, “I put the flowered shirt and flowered hat where they belong: in the trash bin. And now I'm wearing these.”

Monty's debut

Colin Montgomerie headed to the practice green after talking to reporters about his Champions Tour debut.

That reflected the Scot's belief that he can contend for the Senior Players Championship if he can get his flat stick going. Montgomerie shot 1-under 69 Thursday, and he is only four shots off the lead going into the second round.

“If I hit the ball the way that I have, I have the opportunity to do quite well,” Montgomerie said.

Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at sbrown@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ ScottBrown_Trib.

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