FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Scott McCarron took the first-round lead Thursday in the Hotel Fitness Championship – the opening event in the new four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals series.
The 48-year-old McCarron, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, had eight birdies, an eagle and two bogeys for an 8-under 64 at Sycamore Hills. He's in the field on a special medical exemption after finishing 250th in the PGA Tour's standings.
The bulk of the field is made up of top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the FedExCup standings. The top 25 on the Web.com Tour's money list as of last week's Cox Classic are assured PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season, while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards.
Bud Cauley, Jason Gore, Troy Matteson and Scott Harrington were a stroke behind, and Arron Oberholser and Jeff Klauk shot 66. Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman opened with a 67.
McCarron has 11 events remaining on the medical exemption. Last October, he had thumb surgery and admittedly returned too early in January.
"We're athletes and we want to play," he said.
McCarron eagled the par-5 15th – his sixth hole of the day – and played a nine-hole stretch in 7 under.
"It's been a long time since I played some good golf," McCarron said. "But I still know how to. At least I haven't forgotten that part."