Skip to main content

Sonny Skins Field With 64

You may remember Sonny Skinner shot 62 in the opening round of the 1997 Buick Open. Then again, you may not remember Sonny Skinner at all. Either way, Skinner is the man atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Buy.Com Inland Empire Open.
Skinner birdied the 18th hole to shoot 64 and break an eight-way tie for first place. At 8-under-par, the 40-year-old Skinner is one shot clear of seven others in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
This may not be Skinner's lowest overall professional round, but it is his best career round on the Buy.Com Tour. Thursday, Skinner bogeyed the par-4 1st, yet quickly recovered for a front-nine 4-under-par 32. The 2-time Buy.Com winner added four more birdies on the inward half, for a total of nine on the day.
Skinner didn't win the '97 event a Warwick Hills; in fact, he didn't finish in the top 10. He'll have to improve upon that to secure a spot in the season-ending Tour Championship. Skinner currently stands in 52nd place on the money list. The top 55 following this week's event gain entry into the season finale.
Of the seven closest pursuers, only two are currently inside the top 55 in earnings - Lee Rinker (27) and Michael Muehr (45). Two of the five others are out the outside hoping to get in - Keith Clearwater (62) and John Wilson (80). The remaining three can't vault into the top 55 even with the $72,000 first-place check - Scott Petersen (155), Dave Barr (181) and Darek Franklin. Franklin is making his first Buy.Com start of the year.