INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Robert Gamez put an eagle-birdie finish on an 8-under-par 64 for the first-round lead in the Bob
Hope Chrysler Classic yesterday.
Gamez, a runaway choice as Rookie of the Year last season, got a share of the lead in the five-day, 90-hole tournament with a 3-wood second shot and a 7-foot eagle putt on the 17th hole.
After flirting with the out-of-bounds stakes on his drive on the final hole, he hit an 8-iron to 15 feet and made the putt that put him ahead.
Gamez played at Indian Wells, the shortest and generally considered easiest of four desert courses used for the first four rounds.
Corey Pavin, a runner-up in the AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week, shot 65 at the Arnold Palmer course at PGA West, probably the toughest of the four.
He was followed by Strange and eight others tied at 66: Bob Tway, Ed Fiori, Mike Sullivan, Mark O'Meara, Blaine McCallister, Brian Claar and two rookie graduates of the Ben Hogan Tour, Mike Springer and Jim McGovern.
Strange, a two-time U.S. Open champion trying to rebound from a winless 1990 season, also played at the more difficult Palmer course.