Kite Three Others Tied in Seattle

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Boeing Greater Seattle Champions ClassicSNOQUALMIE, Wash. -- Tom Kite, Brad Bryant, Jim Thorpe and Morris Hatalsky all fired rounds of 6-under-par 66 to share the first round lead Friday at the inaugural Greater Seattle Classic.
 
The foursome stands one stroke ahead of seven players who share fifth place at 5-under-par 67. They are: John Harris, Peter Jacobsen, James Mason, Bruce Lietzke, Craig Stadler, Hale Irwin and Andy Bean.
 
The leaderboard logjam continues after that with six players -- Walter Hill, Dan Pohl, Jim Ahern, D.A. Weibring, Bruce Summerhays and David Eger -- knotted one stroke further back in a tie for 12th place at minus-4.
 
'I think if the weather stays this way the scores will stay low,' said Thorpe, who like the rest of the field played the opening round in fair weather. 'I figure 12-to-14 under will be the score.'
 
Harris agrees.
 
'With no wind and soft greens, I think there will be a lot of good scores out there,' he said.
 
The tournament is being played at the Jack Nicklaus-designed TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge. It is the first time the Seattle area has hosted a Champions Tour event since 1995, when it welcomed the GTE Northwest Classic.
 
The four leaders combined for 29 birdies on the day, with all but Thorpe getting eight apiece. Thorpe had just five birdies, but he eagled the par-5 18th to get to minus-6.
 
'This is a course you can make some birdies on,' said Thorpe. 'You just have to be patient. The fairways and greens were soft today and the course seemed to play shorter.'
 
Hatalsky finished the first round with six birdies on the back-nine, including five on his last six holes to earn his share of the lead. He stumbled to two bogeys on the day, but both came on the front-nine.
 
'Today was a nice confidence boost for me,' said Hatalsky, who hit 11-of-14 fairways in the round.
 
The steady Kite played both the front-and back-nine at 3 under par. He briefly fell off the leaders' pace after stumbling to a bogey at the par-3 17th, but he got that stroke back with a birdie at No. 18.
 
Like Hatalsky, Bryant birdied six holes on the back-nine to reach the top of the leaderboard, including two straight to close out his round.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Greater Seattle Champions Classic

  • Full Coverage - Greater Seattle Champions Classic