Baird Shoots 62 Leads Vegas


2005 Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Briny Baird shot a 10-under-par 62 on Thursday to take the first round lead at the Michelin Championship.
Baird's bogey-free 62 came on the TPC at Summerlin course and matched the best opening round on the PGA Tour this season. Ryan Palmer also shot a 62, but it came at the par-71 TPC at The Canyons course.
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is six off the lead after an opening 68.
Palmer is tied for second place at 9 under par with Charles Howell III, who shot a 63 on the Summerlin course.
Kevin Stadler, the son of Craig Stadler, recorded his second hole-in-one of the season with a 9-iron at Summerlin's 14th hole and finished tied for fourth place at 8 under par.
Joining Stadler in fourth place with 64s at Summerlin were Michael Allen, Bart Bryant and Scott Gutschewski. Justin Leonard fired an 8-under 63 at The Canyons course.
In a dream pairing for golf fans -- and one that would thrill TV programmers as a final pairing on Sunday -- crowd favorites John Daly and Jason Gore played their first round together at The Canyons.
Gore, who earned a battlefield promotion from the Nationwide Tour in August, had an up-and-down 18 but finished three strokes better than Daly in a tie for 12th place at 6-under 65. Daly shot a 68 and is tied for 66th place.
'I love that guy. He's a great guy and a good influence,' Gore said of his playing partner.
While Baird is certainly enjoying his status as overnight leader after Day 1, history hasn't been kind to those in his position at this event.
In the previous 22 Michelin Championships, the leader or co-leader after the first round has held on to win just three times, a feat most recently accomplished by Stuart Appleby in 2003.
And the opening-round scores certainly foreshadow plenty of challenges for Baird's shot at a first-ever PGA Tour win: through 18 holes, 119 of the 144 players were under par and 125 were even par or better.
After beginning his round on the back nine at Summerlin, Baird played the first half of his round at 6 under after four birdies and an eagle ay the par-5 16th.
He then collected four more birdies on the front nine to leapfrog a trio of players in the clubhouse already at minus-8.
Baird, 33, has never finished better than second place on the PGA Tour and his best placement this year was a tie for eighth place at the Bay Hill Invitational in March.
World No. 3 Phil Mickelson, the highest-ranked player in the field, is tied for 38th place after a 4-under-par 67 at The Canyons.
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