A total of 144 golfers will be in the starting field when first-round action gets under way Thursday at the 6,700-yard par-70 Golf Club at Eagle Mountain in Scottsdale. Eagle Mountain is usually a par-71 layout, but the par-5 opening hole will play as a 505-yard par-4 hole this week. During Mondays qualifying round, Kyle Kovacs of Sherman Oaks, Calif., set a course record (par 70) with an 11-under 61. The Eagle Mountain par-71 benchmark is also 61.
The story so far this season has been the performance of former U.S. amateur stars. 2000 U.S. Am champ Jeff Quinneys triumph at last weeks Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch came on the heels of wins by 98 champ Hank Kuehne and 96 runner-up Steve Scott. Jason Bohn currently sits sixth on the money list with $8,389 ($13,350 Canadian) Kuehne is atop the money list with $28,278 ($45,000 Canadian), followed closely by Quinney with $28,121 ($44,750 Canadian).
Leading the Canadian charge will be Philip Jonas, who is 17th in earnings this season with $4,175 ($6,654 Canadian), Wes Martin (Calgary, Alberta), Winnipegs Todd Fanning and Rob McMillan, Doug McGuigan (Langley, British Columbia) and Jon Mills (Oshawa, Ontario).
The Golf Channel will carry live four-round coverage of the Scottsdale Swing at Eagle Mountain beginning Thursday at 4:30 pm Eastern.