Brandt Jobe leads in tour golf's return to Warwick Hills
GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) Brandt Jobe capped a fast start with an eagle in tour golf's return to Warwick Hills and shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in The Ally Challenge.
Coming off a break since the Senior British Open, Jobe played his first seven holes in 6 under, making the eagle on the par-5 16th.
"I've had a lot of weeks off," Jobe said. "Always expect to come back a little rusty. Today was good, ball-striking was really good, made a few putts, hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and kind of made it easy on myself."
A six-time winner on the Japanese tour, he won last year in Iowa for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.
"The course is good. It's in great shape," Jobe said. "It's like we remember. It's tight and running and it's getting good. If it gets a little firm, it's going to get even more difficult."
Vijay Singh, a three-time winner at Warwick Hills in the PGA Tour's defunct Buick Open, was a stroke back with Jeff Maggert and Esteban Toledo. Tiger Woods won the last Buick Open in 2009.
"Drove the ball pretty good," Singh said. "I don't think I missed too many fairways. If you drive the ball over here good, you're going to give yourself a lot of birdie opportunities. I putted well, too. I made some pretty nice birdie putts. If you drive it well and putt well, you're going to shoot a good number."
Maggert eagled the par-4 14th and par-5 16th, but dropped a stroke on the par-3 17th.
"The course is the same as it was," Maggert said. "It's a great course. The greens have always been some of the best greens we ever putted and that's why you see a lot of low scores here."
Tom Lehman was at 67 with Lee Janzen, Paul Broadhurst, David Toms and David McKenzie.
"It was really a beautiful day, a gorgeous day for golf," Lehman said. "Almost no wind, greens are perfect, so it is just like I remember. The course played beautifully. It's nice to be back here and support the community. To go back to places you know so well and enjoy so much is a great thing."
Fred Couples, the 1994 Buick Open winner, had a 69.
Two-time Warwick Hills winner Kenny Perry opened with a 70. Bernhard Langer and Mark Calcavecchia also shot 70. Senior newcomer Darren Clarke was at 71 with Scott McCarron, the winner two weeks ago in Calgary, Alberta.
John Daly withdrew on his ninth hole because of a neck and shoulder problem. He was 5 over for the eight holes he completed.
Updated September 14, 2018