Trio Tied In Gold Rush Classic


Tom Kite shot a 7-under 65 to grab a share of the lead at the Gold Rush Classic Friday. Kite is joined by Allen Doyle and John Schroeder as the group owns a one-shot lead after the first round.
Kite played a flawless round with seven birdies and no bogeys. He made the turn at minus-4 after birdies on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th.
The 2000 SBC Senior Open winner made five straight pars before his next birdie on the par-5 14th. He birdied the final two holes to move into a tie for the lead.
'Nice golf course for my game,' Kite said of the Serrano Country Club. 'I can reach a lot of the par fives in two. I didn't take advantage of them as much as I could today.'
Doyle began his round with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 1st. He added three more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus-4.
'I got off to a good start with the birdie at No. 1,' said Doyle. 'Made some good solid putts. Those turn a three-under round into a seven-under round.'
The State Farm Senior Classic winner added four consecutive birdies from the 14th, after dropping his only shot of the day at the par-4 12th. Doyle hit a poor wedge shot and was unable to get up and down.
Schroeder, who won for the first time on the Senior tour at the NFL Golf Classic in June, had a flawless round of his own. The 55-year-old made his first birdie by two-putting from 40 feet on the par-5 6th. He converted a birdie from 40 feet on the par-5 8th before going on to birdie five of the next 10 holes.
'To start this way today is gratifying,' he said. 'It's exciting. I feel like I'm putting myself in the position to maybe be in contention coming down the last nine holes on Sunday.'
Don Pooley, John Mahaffey, Steve Veriato, and Walter Hall finished one stroke back of the leader at 6-under 66. Pooley posted his lowest first-round score since joining the Senior tour earlier this month.
Veriato played a remarkable stretch of golf from the ninth which included four consecutive birdies and back-to-back eagles to make up for three bogeys.
Five players posted rounds of 5-under 67, including last year's runner-up Ed Dougherty.
Defending champion Jim Thorpe, who has won two of the last three events this year, was among 10 players to finish at 4-under 68, including the current money leader Bruce Fleisher.