Senior Players notebook: No magic for Lehman this time
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Tom Lehman didn't putt well Thursday, but a 3-under-par 67 keeps him in contention in the Champions Tour's third major — the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Lehman, who won last weekend's Encompass Championship with a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole, faltered on putting surfaces that were largely vulnerable after Wednesday's torrential rains left the greens soft and receptive.
“The course is playing easy because it's soft,” said Lehman, who will not play the British Open for the first time since 1995. “The only thing you have to worry about is controlling the spin because it's easy to spin the ball way back.”
Lehman finished an uneventful round by missing a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole.
“I just misread the putt. I thought I hit it where I wanted but I made a mistake and left it above the hole,” Lehman said. “It's a lot tougher to make the downhill putts here.”
Mediate strong showing
After finishing his first Senior Players tied for 22nd a year ago, Greensburg native Rocco Mediate finds himself within range of the leaders after a 3-under 67.
Mediate, who donned a Pirates hat and received plenty of spectator attention throughout the day, improved to 4-under with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. He bogeyed the par-5 16th and curled a birdie putt just around the hole on No. 18, preventing a late climb up the leaderboard.
“Nothing,” Mediate said of needed tweaks prior to round two. “Just driving all the fairways and do the same thing.”
Friendly skies at Fox Chapel
Despite thunderstorms and showers in the forecast, Fox Chapel remained sunny and windless for the vast majority of the first round.
Players didn't have too much trouble with the course's fairways, but showed noticeable difficulty elevating the ball from the rough.
“Rough's long and it's wet obviously. It's tough. It seems like the rough is a little longer this year than it was in previous years,” said Corey Pavin, who shot a 5-under 65.
Golfers atop the leaderboard seemed to have no problems with finding the cup on Fox Chapel's greens, either. Last year, just one player, Jon Huston, scored a 65 or lower in the first round. Eleven accomplished that feat Thursday.
Perry in familiar position
Kenny Perry began defense of his only major championship in the afternoon with the soft greens still yielding plenty of birdies. Perry, who was 1-over following last year's first round, struggled with his putter to finish with an even-par 70, which puts him six shots behind co-leaders Joe Durant, David Frost and Doug Garwood.
“It's very similar to my first round last year, so I hope we have the same outcome,” said Perry, who was 20-under over the final 54 holes in 2013. “It was very gettable course today, so it was very depressing to look up and be six shots behind before I started.
“I was thinking, ‘wow, I got to go,' but I could never get it going. I was always stepping my toes for whatever reason. I would hit it close, but three-putt. I shot even, so I'll have to shoot three great rounds to catch up.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dem Wolf eyes shale’s ‘golden egg’ to boost school funding
- Pirates top Cardinals, 5-2, on Davis’ homer; Alvarez, McCutchen hurt
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- Mentor role suits Penn State lineman Mangiro
- Indiana County township ‘afraid for the water’ fights waste well
- Montgomery County man jumps into race for Pennsylvania governor
- Steelers notebook: Team cuts 15 players, including LB So’oto, RB Hall
- Pittsburgh paramedics treat 38 people at Stage AE concert
- Medical pot advocates state their case at town hall meeting with Sen. Folmer in Export
- Latrobe law firm’s secretary pleads guilty to income tax evasion
- Harmar police make 2 drug arrests as part of crackdown on crime