On Friday, the two-time winner on the 50-and-older circuit chalked up a total of eight of the red numbers at the East Crandon Golf Club, more than anyone else in the field.
Against just two bogies, the round brought him a total of +14 points, three more than Andy North and Rex Caldwell in second place, and four more than Walter Hall and John Bland. They each ended on +10 points.
In this format of play, it is the aggressive game that is rewarded more times than not. Double-eagles count for eight points, eagles count for five points, birdies are good for two and pars are worth no score. A bogey counts as minus-one point, and minus-three is the score for anything worse than that.
Hence, it pays to make a lot of birdies and eagles, even if they are offset with more than a few bogies.
An example of that would be 2000 Senior Tour Player of the Year Larry Nelson. For the day, Nelson shot a round of 3-under 69, which saw him record three birdies against no bogies. It was a picturesque round by all standards. But he only earned +6 points for it and sits in joint 7th place.
On the other hand, Caldwell shot a 4-under 68, just one stroke better than Nelson. Yet, because he made a full seven birdies, offset by three bogies, he finished Day 1 with +11 points, and is right in contention entering Saturday.
All eyes this weekend will be on the two-time defending champion of this event, however. Should Bruce Fleisher win this week, not only will he break a six-month victory drought on the Senior Tour, but he will also become only the sixth man to ever win a tournament three years running.
Fleisher had a decent first day, but he will need to pick up the pace in a big way this weekend if he hopes to successfully defend for a third time running.
Flash finished the day with +4 points, complements of a 1-under 71. He is tied for 26th place heading into Saturday.
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