Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI — September 13, 2019
The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren began this morning with the title sponsors and Tournament Director Chris Coffman introducing two young people representing this year’s primary beneficiaries of the tournament’s charities. Andrea Lee, representing Genesee County Habitat for Humanity and Chandlier Frahm, representing United Way of Genesee County, teed off to start the competition.
With the opening ceremonies concluded the Warwick Hills was turned over to the PGA Tour Champions. Jerry Smith, Lary Mize, and David Egar led the field off the 1st tee.
Defending Champion Paul Broadhurst was in one of the last groups to go off the 1st hole, teeing it up at 11:10. His playing partners were Fred Couples and Angel Cabrera.
Off to a Hot Start
Jeff Sluman, starting on the back nine, proved the course can yield low scores. He birdied the first four holes he played 10-13. Unfortunately, Sluman could not maintain the pace giving three strokes back on the front nine and finished at 1 under par.
Ken Tanigawa also started on the back nine. He birdied 13-14-15-16 & 18 to go 5 under. Like Sluman, Tanigawa gave strokes back on the front nine with bogies at 7 & 8.
A Rough Go in Round One
Vijay Singh, a three-time winner of the Buick Open at Warwick Hills, had a difficult opening round. Singh rode a cart around the course nursing an apparent leg injury, finishing near the rear of the field at 4 over par.
Gary Nicklaus, son of Jack Nicklaus, was in the last group to tee off #1. He promptly bogeyed the first two holes and added another bogey at #9. An even-par back nine fell apart with a triple-bogey 7 on the 18th, leaving him at the back of the field with a score of 6 over par.
PGA Tour Champions money leader Scott McCarron and Retief Goosen played in the group with Vijay Singh. While Singh struggled McCarron and Goosen lit up the leaderboard.
McCarron shot a bogey-free 6 under par, highlighted with birdies on 3-6-10-13-16 & 17.
Goosen had his score to 7 under par until a bogey at 17 brought him back into a tie with McCarron and Tom Gillis from nearby Lake Orion, MI.
The Crowd at 17
Tim Petrovic snuggled his tee shot on the par-three 17th hole to within 3 feet of the pin. The crowd buzzed as he walked onto the green to mark his ball. It had been a while since the hole had yielded a birdie.
This weekend, anytime a player makes birdie on 17 beers are $2.00 for the next 17 minutes. The gallery was thirsty. Petrovic calmly rolled in the putt, delivered the beer garden a treat and waved the grandstand to make more noise. Mission accomplished.
Fan favorites are spread across the leaderboard, here are the scores and positions of some notables after Day 1.
- Bernhard Langer -4, T8
- Tom Lehman -3, T13
- Colin Montgomerie -3, T13
- Kenny Perry -2, T20
- Mark O’Meara -2, T20
- Fred Couples -2, T20
- Tom Kite -1, T32
Corey Pavin +4, T69
The complete standings after Round One of the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren. Where does your favorite player rank?
|T13||W. Short Jr.||-3|
|T37||T. Armour III||E|
|T57||G. Gilbert III||2|
|T64||T. Pernice Jr.||3|