Baker-Finch matches record with 62 to lead Busch Classic


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Al Geiberger, consider yourself fortunate.

Ian Baker-Finch matched the course record with a 9-under-par 62 in yesterday's opening round of the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic. Then he lamented about what could have been.

"I missed five other birdie putts from 10 feet in," Baker-Finch said.

Had he made three of those, the Australian would have tied the PGA Tour single-round scoring record Geiberger established with a 59 at the 1977 Memphis Classic.

"I've been setting some plans and goals recently, and I was thinking the other night how I'd really like to break 60," said Baker-Finch, whose previous low round was a 63. "And I realized you can't think about breaking 60 until you've shot 62 or 61. So I was thinking I wanted to lower my achievement level.

"Now I can start thinking about 61, and hopefully I can eventually think about getting to less than 60. But 62's a goal achieved."

Baker-Finch birdied six of his last seven holes at Kingsmill Golf Club to tie the course record set by Mike Sullivan a year ago on the 6,776-yard layout along the James River.

Bob Gilder, who began his round about the time Baker-Finch was finishing his, also avoided any bogeys in carding an 8-under 63.

"It's tough to go out there and see that," Gilder said of glancing at the leader boards early in his round. "It works on your mind a little bit."

Dan Pohl, continuing his recovery from major back surgery that kept him off the tour last year, had a 64. Also at that figure was Mike Reid.

Pohl said he needs 45 minutes of treatment and exercise before he can even step on the practice tee each day.

"I can't even anticipate what I might do tomorrow," he said. "I'm sure I'm probably the most surprised person here."

Roger Maltbie, Blaine McCallister and Dudley Hart carded 65s.

Sullivan was joined at 66 by Sam Randolph, Chris Perry, Mike Hulbert, Brad Fabel and Scott Hoch.

Irish Open

KILLARNEY, Ireland -- Nick Faldo of Britain and Scotsman Colin Montgomerie shot 4-under-par 68s and shared a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Irish Open.

Newly crowned U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart was among eight players tied for third place.

Faldo, Stewart's playing partner for the round, eagled two holes. Stewart had seven birdies and four bogeys.

Stewart said: "I made more birdies than in the last 54 holes at Hazeltine last week, but compounded that with quite a few bogeys."

Pepsi Women

QUANTICO -- Andrea Kraus of Baltimore shot even par for the three-hole playoff to defeat Trish Gates of Chevy Chase, and Katie O'Neil of Towson in the annual invitation tournament at Green Hill Yacht and Country Club outside Salisbury.

Each of the three posted rounds of 80-77--157. In the playoff, Kraus, the Metropolitan champion from Woodholme CC, was followed by Gates, Columbia CC, 2-over par, and O'Neil, from CC Maryland, 3-over.

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