Seven-way tie after one round equals Champions Tour mark -
Published Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm / Updated at 10:04 pm
Seven-way tie after one round equals Champions Tour mark
Hole of the day
Hole 8, 469 yards on Thursday: Mark Mielke, a club professional from Oyster Bay, N.Y., had a pearl of a birdie on the first round's most difficult hole. He made the only 3 on the par 4, hitting driver and 3-wood to 15 feet. Mielke shot 1-over 71 and was in the third-to-last group to play the hole, which averaged a score of 4.71

Total: 61,825
Day 1: 24,318

There were seven ways to shoot 67 Thursday at the U.S. Senior Open, but Tom Lehman was the only one to do it with a birdie on Omaha Country Club's 18th hole.

A chip-in, too, from 45 feet that he said was worth only few style points.

“It was probably a 2 or 3 (for difficulty),” said Lehman, who chipped with an 8-iron. “It was downhill, which you just kind of get it going, it's going to get to the hole. The big thing was the lie. It was a little bit squirrely. The grass was growing against the ball.

“It wasn't that difficult.”

Lehman's company at the top of the stellar leader board included four other winners of senior majors — Michael Allen, Fred Funk, Mark O'Meara and Kenny Perry. Jay Don Blake and Gary Hallberg were also at 3 under.

“It's not a fabulous score, but it's a very good score,” O'Meara said. “A lot of these guys still play tremendous golf, even well into their 50s. It doesn't surprise me to see so many guys kind of bunched up.”

The seven-way logjam is the largest after the first round at a U.S. Senior Open and matches the Champions Tour record, which last happened at a senior major, the 2008 Tradition.

For those skeptical of OCC's worthiness as an Open course, note that it was the highest score to lead the opening round of a Senior Open since 2006, when 67 led at Prairie Dunes.

Twenty players broke par 70 Thursday, when the course was playing at 6,659 yards. Another dozen, including Tom Watson and Tom Kite, were at par.
Fred Couples was at 1 over.

“I'm actually kind of surprised that 3 under is low,” Funk said. “I think they're a little dodgy with the greens. The greens are really not up to speed.
“I'm surprised how brown they got. They really changed colors in the last day or so.”

The field flips starting assignments Friday, with Thursday's late finishers going first. The low 60 and ties after the second round will play on the weekend.
Allen also ended his round with a birdie, at the par-4 ninth. After their last birdies, O'Meara parred his final five holes, Funk and Blake their final four, Perry his final three and Hallberg his last.

O'Meara had the day's only bogey-free round.

“There were only a couple times I was in jeopardy,” said the winner of the 1998 Masters and British Open. “I hit most of the greens, except for when I ricocheted off of Calc's ball.”

On the downhill par-3 16th, O'Meara's tee shot hit Mark Calcavecchia's ball on the green and caromed to the fringe. Under the Rules of Golf, Calcavecchia — who shot a 2-over 72 — replaced his ball on the green and O'Meara had to play his from where it stopped.

“I wasn't very happy. I hit a good shot,” O'Meara said. “It probably would have been about pin high, about 14 feet left of the hole. Instead, I'm struggling to make a par.”

Lehman said he enjoys being in O'Meara's group because of his swing tempo.

“Just the flight of his ball is so nice to watch,” said the former British Open champion. “It's always good for me when I watch him play to get that feel for his rhythm and it hopefully helps me a little bit as well.”

Funk, whose only bogey came from 55 yards out on the par-5 second hole, said he made some nice par saves.

A concern was his back, which he said hadn't felt better all year when he started his round.

“I hit kind of a funny swing and bad swing on the par-3 fifth and it started bothering me again,” Funk said.

Hallberg, the only player in the afternoon to get to 4 under, finished on the front nine and bogeyed the par-4 eighth hole that yielded just one birdie Thursday.

“I went over the green and chipped back and ended up bogeying there,” said Hallberg, who finished second to Couples at last year's Senior British Open. “But I drove the ball very well. I just had fun out there. I was real loose.”

Allen and Blake, who like Perry played in the morning, had two of the day's five eagles recorded on the par-5 sixth. Allen chipped in from 25 yards after holing a chip for birdie on the par-3 third. Blake sank a 12-foot putt for his.

Allen won in Mississippi in the spring and has been in the top five at the two most recent senior majors.

Blake is the only golfer to play in the U.S. Open before coming to the Senior Open. He said his experience at Merion taught him patience for a course with similarly thick rough.

“There I started being too aggressive in trying to get it out too far from the rough or take a big risk trying to knock it on the green,” Blake said, “and got myself on the wrong side of making pars.”

Perry wasn't convinced 67 would hold up for the lead. He made five birdies and two bogeys.

“The great score obviously would be 5 under, I would think,” said Perry, who's trying to win his second senior major in a row. “I see somebody actually hitting more fairways than I hit (nine) and putting a little bit better, and they're going to shoot a good score.

“It's out there.”

No one found it Thursday.

Contact the writer: Stu Pospisil    |   402-444-1041    |  

Stu Pospisil has been The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports since 1990 and for golf since 1988. He primarily covers football in the fall, basketball and wrestling in the winter and track and field in the spring.

Primary battle between Battiato, Morrissey may be only race
UNMC appoints new dean for the college of dentistry
Jeff Corwin hopes to build connection with nature at Nebraska Science Festival
New faces vie to succeed State Sen. Amanda McGill in District 26
Film Streams to screen 2 special-interest movies this week
Annie, when that girl's hitting the bottle, look out
Blair High senior shows his love of pi by memorizing 1,381 digits
Despite ‘bag lady’ fears, women leery of investing
The Record: Commercial real estate transfers, April 21
The Record: Bankruptcies, April 21
Don’t be in a hurry to toss those tax papers
Jon Stewart might be real king of late night
'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!
MarksJarvis: Don’t put all the pennies in the kids’ college piggy bank
11:30 a.m. Tuesday: Warren Watch chat
Can't find your pet? Social media is there to help
Tilly's racing to make 50 hats before the polo match
Metro transit recommends streetcar, rapid-transit bus line for Omaha
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
Chatelain: Smiles and scowls: How to reconcile the two Bos
These days, captains let others go down with ship
After decades looking in, Republican Dan Frei seeks chance to take action
Cause of Omaha power outage along Regency Parkway unclear
Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn try to pin label of D.C. insider on each other
Curious about government salaries? Look no further

Sunday's Top Events
PCL baseball
Nashville at Omaha, 6:35 p.m. (Live stats)

Game Time, TV/Radio Schedule
Monday's Area Events
Monday's TV/Radio Schedule
Tuesday's Area Events
Tuesday's TV/Radio Schedule

Prep Results (mobile)

Holes in One
Dog Racing Results
Horse Racing Entries, Horse Racing Results
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
< >
Blog: Dirk's 'Mad Chatter'
Dirk Chatelain offers his thoughts on the latest news from around the sports world, complete with links to the best articles, opinion columns, YouTube videos and more.
Civic Auditorium Timeline
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel asked readers for their favorite memories of the Civic Auditorium. We combined their submissions with a few key events or moments in the auditorium's history.
CWS: Banner Years
The College World Series historical database, a growing home for historical information about past NCAA baseball championships, which have been played in Omaha since 1950.
Downtown Omaha event map
Discover the area surrounding the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha -- including restaurants, arts & entertainment venues, hotels and local retail outlets.
Facebook: Tom Shatel's page
Get Tom Shatel's sports columns delivered straight to your Facebook feed.
Follow Tom Shatel on Twitter
Get instant analysis and commentary from World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel on Twitter.
Nebraska high school basketball's greatest night
Four elite teams. Two buzzer-beaters. One packed house. On March 11, 1989, the stars aligned and produced the best night in Nebraska high school basketball history.
Shatel's blog
Check out the latest from World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel.
Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports
Get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's book "Shatel: Tom's Take on 20 Unforgettable Years in Sports."
Super Bowl: Through the years
The Super Bowl is a yearly media madhouse. See how The World-Herald sports section's front pages portrayed each of the Super Bowl victories won by those players celebrated in our Mt. Rushmore of Super Bowl QBs.
Talk sports with World-Herald reporters
World-Herald reporters log on to talk about the latest news surrounding the Huskers, Jays, Mavericks, high schools sports and more. Check out the upcoming chat schedule or replay the latest discussions with the fans.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
The Nebraska 100
In an historic 2005 series, The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes. In a new web exclusive, see the digitized collection for the first time.
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »