Horowitz, the reigning New York City amateur champion, and Kim both fired a 4-under 68 at ChampionsGate to set the early pace. Clint Jensen of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Derrick Centers of Kentucky, an employee at ChampionsGate, are just one shot back.
Horowitz was paired with Barry Walters and former N.H.L. star goaltender Grant Fuhr Monday, which turned out to be a thrill of a lifetime for the life-long New York Islanders fan. With the Islanders and Fuhrs Edmonton Oilers the two best teams in hockey from the early to mid-1980s, Horowitz took a moment before the round to joke with the man partly responsible for ending the Islanders streak of four straight Stanley Cups in 1984.
I told him he was a fantastic goalie with a few Stanley Cup rings, but being an Isles fan, I rooted against him, smiled Horowitz, who turned pro just before this Qualifying School. But he really was an awesome guy. My brother called to tell me Grant would be playing here, and the next thing you know, I am paired with him. We had a great time out there and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Fuhr had a double-bogey, bogey finish to card a 1-over 73, good enough for a share of 32nd spot. He is the top Canadian after the opening day. Former N.F.L. quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver came in with a 3-over 75.
Even at the tender age of 23, Horowitz knows better than most the opportunity he has this week. He interned in the World Trade Center right up until 2000, and still carries his WTC identification in his golf bag. Horowitz admits it helps him remember what is important.
You take it for granted sometimes, that we get the chance to come out here and attempt to play golf for a living. Being in New York a year and a half ago taught me that we cant take anything for granted. It sounds like a clich, I know, but it keeps things in perspective.
This was a great start for me, but Q-School is a marathon, not a sprint, reasoned Horowitz. I wanted to play even par or better every nine holes, and I have done that so far. But the most important shot for me will be my first shot in Round 2 (Tuesday). What I did today is old news.
A total of 184 golfers from 17 countries will play two rounds each at both the International and National layouts at ChampionsGate. After Thursdays fourth round, the field will be reduced to the low 60 scores plus ties. Those who make the cut will compete Friday for 20 exempt and a minimum of 10 non-exempt cards to be awarded for the 2003 Canadian Tour season.
Full Coverage of the Canadian Winter Q-School