Haskins Leads The Way After 62


Steve Haskins fired a career-best 10-under-par 62 to set a new 18-hole tournament record and take the lead in Thursday's first round of the Buy.Com Inland Empire Open. He leads Todd Murphy by one stroke and Bobby Gage, Arron Oberholser, Kevin Pendley and 2001 Canadian PGA Championship winner Richard Zokol by two.
Haskins needed a nine-foot putt to save par on the opening hole then birdied four of the next five to make the turn in 32. He tacked on a birdie at the 11th before roaring home with five consecutive birdies to establish the course record at Empire Lakes Golf Course, which is hosting this eight-year-old event for the second straight season.
'The golf course is in perfect shape, and there are a lot of chances out there,' Haskins said. 'I was able to take advantage of opportunities when I had them and took care when I had to get up and down.'
Haskins, 43, broke through on the Buy.Com Tour with a win at the 1991 New England Classic. He captured his second title this July at the Ozarks Open, an event shortened to 36 holes because of rain, and is currently 19th on the 2001 money list.
The top-15 players in season earnings receive exempt status on the 2002 PGA Tour.
'I know I can compete if I can get on [the PGA Tour],' said Haskins, who has made a record 278 starts on the Buy.Com Tour.
Murphy, a former club professional making his fourth career start, won a playoff in Monday qualifying to earn a spot in the event. His nine-birdie, no-bogey 63 on Thursday also marked the low round of his career.
Defending champion Scott Petersen shot a two-under 70 to finish the day eight shots off the pace.