Course Record Gives Kite MasterCard Lead


Tom Kite fired a 9-under-par 63, a course record at Hualalai Golf Club, to take a three-shot lead over defending champion Larry Nelson in Friday's first round of the MasterCard Championship.
This event, the season-opener on the 2002 Senior Tour schedule, features winners of official events from the last two years and winners of Senior Tour major championships from the last five years.
Kite, a three-time winner since joining the elder circuit in 2000, posted five birdies and two eagles amid winds that gusted up to 35 miles per hour on the Big Island of Hawaii.
'Starting the day, I don't think any of us expected scores to be this low,' said Kite, who hit 17 of 18 greens.
Kite started on the back side and produced four birdies in the last five holes of that nine. He hit the green at the par-5 fourth in two and rolled in a 12-footer for eagle, then birdied the sixth before chipping in from 30 feet for an eagle at the par-5 seventh.
Nelson, whose 16 wins as a member of the 50-and-over set include 11 over the last two seasons, shot 66 for sole possession of second place.
'It's nice to get off to a good start,' said Nelson, who admitted he hadn't played since the first week in December.
Tied for third with 5-under 67s were reigning Tradition winner Doug Tewell, 2001 Senior Tour Rookie of the Year Bob Gilder, and 60-year-old Jim Colbert, who captured this event in 1995.
Tewell holed a 4-iron at the 208-yard 8th hole for an ace, the first hole-in-one in the 19-year history of this event.
'No. 8 sets up good for me because I hit it right to left,' he said. 'That was my 11th hole-in-one, all on tour.'