Albus Among Three Tied at Turtle Bay


KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Jim Albus carded a 4-under 68 Friday to grab a share of the opening-round lead at the Turtle Bay Championship. Albus was joined atop the leaderboard by R.W. Eaks and Steve Stull.
Two-time defending champion Hale Irwin, who also won this event in 1997, was one shot off the lead after a round of 3-under 69. Irwin collected four birdies and one bogey to finish alongside Gary McCord, Jose Maria Canizares, Mike Smith, Morris Hatalsky, Bruce Summerhays, Mark Pfeil and Rodger Davis.
Albus, a six-time winner on the Senior Tour, had a phenomenal start on the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort. He hit a 7-iron to three feet for birdie at the second and followed with a pitch-in eagle at the par-5 third.
The 62-year-old struggled at the very next hole after he pulled a 5-iron into the water en route to a double-bogey. He responded well with a birdie at the fifth and drained a 10-footer for birdie at the ninth to make the turn at minus 3.
'I started strong and then hung in there,' said Albus, who finished tied for 30th at this event last year. 'I'm happy with this start. I love to be in contention.'
Albus added a birdie at the 12th to move to 4-under and was soon joined by Stull.
Stull picked up four birdies on the front nine and continued his fine play on the inward half. He hit a wedge to 15 feet for birdie at the 14th and reached 6-under with a birdie at the very next hole.
The 51-year-old stumbled coming in, however, with bogeys on the final two holes to finish with a share of the lead.
'I wasn't disappointed with this round,' said Stull, who has spent time on the European Seniors Tour. 'Europe definitely helped me play golf over here.'
Eaks hit a wedge to 15-feet for birdie at the third and added back-to-back birdies from the eighth to make the turn at 3-under.
The 50-year-old ran into trouble with a three-putt bogey at the 14th but finished strong with two straight birdies starting at the 17th for his share of first.
'I played a very solid round,' said Eaks, who made his debut on the Senior Tour in May. 'I feel like I'm on vacation so my score is surprising.'
Full-field scores from the Turtle Bay Championship