GOLF ROUNDUP : This Long Layoff Is No Problem for Lietzke
Returning to the PGA Tour after an 11-week layoff, Bruce Lietzke played as if he had never been gone. Better, in fact.
Lietzke eased into a familiar position in the International, scoring 16 points Thursday to take the first-round lead. A perennial International contender who is third in tournament history in points produced, Lietzke had an eagle, six birdies and a bogey to move two points ahead of his nearest competitor, Mike Reid.
Under the modified Stableford scoring system used in this event, a golfer receives eight points for a double eagle, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and loses one for a bogey and three for a double bogey or worse. Medal scores don’t count.
Points are cumulative over the four rounds, with the 144-player field being reduced to 72 for the third round and to 24 for the final round.
The tournament, sponsored by Sprint, carries a purse of $1.4 million and pays the winner $252,000.
Ken Green, winner of the inaugural International in 1986, had 12 points. Fred Couples and Hal Sutton each had 11.
Katie Peterson-Parker, hoping to salvage par on the final hole to surpass her career-best round, made a 15-foot chip shot for birdie instead and earned a share of the course record in the first round of the LPGA Chicago Challenge at Naperville, Ill.
“I couldn’t believe what happened on 18,” said Peterson-Parker, who shot a seven-under-par 65 for a one-stroke lead over Kim Catherin and Ellie Gibson.
Peterson-Parker, who had eight birdies and needed only 22 putts, matched the course mark set last year by Marta Figueras-Dotti and Stephanie Maynor.
Amy Alcott, one victory away from qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame, opened with a 67.