Chubb Classic: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Doug Garwood, Scott Parel tied for first-round lead

By Greg Hardwig
Published on
Chubb Classic: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Doug Garwood, Scott Parel tied for first-round lead

Miguel Angel Jimenez made for a "Most Interesting" leaderboard after the first round of the Chubb Classic on Friday.

The Spaniard who playfully has been tied into the "Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials -- the original one -- for Dos Equis beer is tied with Doug Garwood and Scott Parel after 7-under-par 65s in the 30th anniversary tournament at The TwinEagles Club.

"Coming today with these beautiful conditions is nice," said Jimenez, referring to the lack of wind after a pair of windy days during the pro-ams. "Just make your swing nice and long and that's it."

Chubb Classic: Saturday's second-round tee times

Jimenez had a long birdie putt on No. 17, then closed with an eagle on No. 6 -- his 15th hole -- from 10 feet, and made a 9-footer for birdie on his final hole.

"Very solid," said Jimenez, who had his third tour win and had nine top-10s in 13 events last year.

Jimenez is finding the PGA Tour Champions more interesting and plans to play even more after the 53-year-old split time between this tour and Europe.

"I still play some tournaments on the regular tour in Europe because I still feel like I can play there, but obviously here is a little more relaxing than the fighting, fighting, fighting," he said. "Here you play three rounds, no cuts, and then it's something that we enjoy for so many years. (On the regular tour), these guys are hitting 300 (yards) -- it's tough to compete with them. This year is probably going to be 90 percent of the tournaments I'm going to play here on the Champions Tour, and it's time. It's time to open the eyes."

With no wind, golfers took advantage -- 52 of the 78 players in the field broke par.

In a field full of World Golf Hall of Famers and major championship winners, most of them are on the outside looking in -- but still with a good view of the top with two rounds to go.

Scott Hoch, who won the formerly named ACE Group Classic in a playoff at Quail West in 2008, is tied for fifth with Bob Tway, the lone of the aforementioned Hall of Famers or major championship winners in the top nine. Two-time major winner John Daly is tied for 10th, along with Fred Couples and Jerry Kelly, who made his tour debut.

Otherwise, the leaders are PGA Tour Champions players with varying levels of success whose names may not be the most recognizable to the sizable galleries that followed Daly, three-time champion Bernhard Langer, and Couples on Friday.

PGA Tour Pro Doug Harwood, center, is all smiles afterBuy Photo

PGA Tour Pro Doug Harwood, center, is all smiles after tying for first at seven-under par after the first round of action during The Chubb Classic at TwinEagles Club Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 in Naples. (Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News, Naples Daily News)

Garwood, 53, is a former Tour player with one Champions Tour victory who missed almost all of 2015 with a bulging disc in his back. Parel was co-medalist at Qualifying School in December, and weekly qualified eight times in 2016. Mike Goodes, who's in fourth, one shot back, has played well in Naples, with four top-10 finishes in nine starts, and has one Champions victory. John Elliott, part of a five-way tie for fifth after a 67, qualified on Tuesday.

Chubb Classic: Fred Couples, John Daly trying to stay the course

Garwood tried out a new driver and got Fred Couples autograph so far this week.

"I've never talked to him," said Garwood, who drained almost every putt he looked at Friday. "We were standing there and while we were waiting for the commercials and whatnot -- Freddie's there and I'm thinking 'They're just going to bump me for Freddie.' So when he came walking by, I'm like 'Hey Freddie, can I get your autograph?' And that's the only words I've ever spoken to him."

Parel's days of weekly qualifying are gone for this year since he has full status. He's not missing that.

"It's confidence and it's also a little comfort knowing that I'm going to be able to play the next tournament no matter how I finish this week," he said.

No matter how popular the players are on the leaderboard, Jimenez provides something quite different. His unique and limber warm-up routine, long hair he sometimes wears in a ponytail, and penchant for fast cars, wine and smoking cigars earned him the "Most Interesting Man in Golf" moniker.

"I'm 53 now. It doesn't look like it, right?" he said with a smile.

This article is written by Greg Hardwig from Naples Daily News, Fla. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.