Former Amateur Stars Leading in Michigan


Following a phenomenal amateur career, Jay Sigel turned professional in 1993. One year later, he joined the Senior PGA Tour and continued his winning ways.
Sigel won six times from 1994-98. He then hit the proverbial wall that many seniors slam into once they near 55.
Now, nearing 60, Sigel has put himself in good position after 18 holes to end his four-year winless streak. The 58-year-old Pennsylvanian shot 5-under-par 67 Friday to share the first-round lead in the Farmers Charity Classic in Ada, Mich.
Sigel is tied with fellow former amateur standout David Eger. The tour rookie matched Sigel's 67 in round one. John Jacobs is one back after a 68. Two-time defending champion Larry Nelson is in a group two off the pace.
Eger, 50, is conditionally exempt on tour after finishing 14th at the Qualifying Tournament. He played 58 events on the PGA Tour before being reinstated as a amateur in 1986.
He was a three-time U.S. Walker Cup member, and semifinalist in the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Amateur Championships.
Sigel served as one of the nations finest amateurs before cashing in on the Senior circuit. He won back-to-back U.S. Amateur crowns in 1982-83, three U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships and the 1979 British Amateur title. He was twice a playing captain for the Walker Cup team, and seven times a member.
Sigel won once in his rookie season on tour to earn Rookie of the Year honors. He rallied from 10 strokes down to catch Jim Colbert in regulation and then defeated him in a playoff for his first professional victory at the GTE West Classic.
He failed to win in 95, but collected over $1 million in a one-win 96. He increased his earnings each of the next two seasons, both years recording multiple victories.
Then the winning-well ran dry. He dropped to 35th on the money list in 1998; 52nd in 99; and 37th in 2000.
This year, he has yet to notch a top-10 finish in 12 starts; though, that may change following Fridays performance.
Sigel birdied two of his first three holes, as well as the eighth and ninth. He again recorded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 to move to 6-under, but bogeyed the par-3 16th to finish at minus 5.
Eger, likewise, made six birdies and one bogey.
Full-field scores from the Farmers Charity Classic