GOLF ROUNDUP : Thorpe Opens Eyes With a 63
Jim Thorpe got into town just in time to get five hours of sleep.
Feeling anything, but rested, Thorpe went out and shot a nine-under-par 63 Thursday at Franklin, Wis., to share the first round lead in the Greater Milwaukee Open with Ray Stewart.
Stewart had a three-putt bogey on his final hole to fall into the tie with Thorpe as both missed Ken Green’s 1988 course record by two strokes.
“The day started out sleepy,” Thorpe said. “It’s the first round I’ve played where I felt I could have birdied all 18 holes. The key is driving the ball well and keeping it in the fairway.
“With the condition of the course, the winning scores could be in the 20s (under par).”
Thorpe started on the back nine and birdied his first hole, the 444-yard 10th. He finished with four more birdies on the back side and had four more on the front, barely missing a 10-footer for another on the par-five second hole.
One shot behind was David Ogrin, who has missed the cut in 10 consecutive tournaments, with Hubert Green another shot back at 65.
Stewart, 36, seeking his first tour victory, shot a six-under-par 30 on the front nine, which he played last. He birdied the first three holes of the front side, had another birdie on No. 5 and then eagled the 524-yard sixth hole.
Stewart birdied the par-four seventh, for a one-stroke lead over Thorpe before making the only bogey of his round.
Thorpe played early in the morning and was already in the clubhouse when Stewart teed off.
“You look up at the board and somebody is already nine under,” Stewart said. “You kind of think, ‘This isn’t fair. I haven’t even started yet.’
“You kind of think out of the gate that you should try to make birdies. But you have to be patient. I was patient enough.”
At 66, were Billy Mayfair, Nolan Henke, Mark McCumber and Mitch Adcock. Defending champion Greg Norman shot a 69.
Howard Clark of England shot an eight-under-par 64 and took a one-stroke lead after one round of the European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland.
Mark McNulty of Zimbabwe, German Open champion and runner-up in the British Open, was second.
Tied at 66 were Ove Sellberg of Sweden, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, Englishmen James Spence and Martin Poxon, and Wayne Riley of Australia.