Mac O’Grady equaled the tournament record with an eight-under-par 63 Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Byron Nelson golf tournament at Irving, Tex., and then refused every plea made by PGA officials to discuss his round with the press.
“Several months ago, Mac made a vow not to talk to the press,” said tour director of information Tom Place, “and he still refuses to do so.
“I invoked every name I could, including that of Byron Nelson, and he still refused to talk.”
Place said O’Grady “apparently was upset by a magazine article about him” sometime last year and has since refused to talk to reporters.
“I’ve been embarrassed by the press and I have absolutely nothing to say to them,” O’Grady told Place.
O’Grady, 34, is one of the tour’s resident free spirits who made 17 trips to the PGA qualifying tournament before earning his playing rights in 1983.
In addition to being persistent about getting onto the PGA tour, O’Grady had his named changed in 1978 from Phil McGleno to Phillip McClelland O’Grady--using the name of his golf coach and his mother’s maiden name.
He recorded eight birdies and no bogeys in Thursday’s round at the Las Colinas Sports Center course and then went into his silent act.
“If you want to know about my round,” O’Grady said to Place, “you can ask my caddy.”
Rookie Andrew Magee, one of the last men on the course, one-putted 11 times and had a share of the lead until he bogeyed the 17th hole and finished with a 64, one stroke back. He was followed by Mike Holland, with a career-best 65.
The group at 66, five under par, included Mike Nicolette, Jodie Mudd, Bob Wrenn, John Cook and Peter Oosterhuis.
Tom Watson and Craig Stadler led another group at 67.
Ben Crenshaw, a former winner of this event who is trying to fight his way out of a year-long slump, had a 68. Tom Kite, winner of last week’s Tournament of Champions, was one shot higher at 69. PGA champion Lee Trevino shot 70.
Britain’s Brian Waites shot an opening round four-under-par 65 for a two-shot lead after the first round of a $135,000 international golf tournament at Leeds, England.
Sweden’s Magnus Persson and Britain’s Peter Harrison each carded a 67, while Britain’s Richard Boxall and Ireland’s John O’Leary were another shot back at 68.