Goodes birdies first four holes, leads by two at Principal Charity Classic

By Luke Meredith
Published on

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Mike Goodes opened the Principal Charity Classic by sticking all of his approaches next to the cup and tapping in for easy birdies.

Knowing such good fortune was unlikely to last, Goodes put it out of his mind and finished Friday's opening round of the Principal Charity Classic nearly as well as he started it.

Goodes shot a 7-under 64 to take a two-shot lead at Glen Oaks Country Club. Jay Haas, who won in Iowa in 2007 and 2008, leads a group at 5-under 66 that includes South African David Frost and former Masters champion Larry Mize.

Goodes opened his round with four straight birdies. He nearly had two more on Nos. 5 and 6 and he closed with back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes. Goodes shot a 30 on the front nine and matched his lowest overall score on the Champions Tour.

"Just tried to play after that because you know you don't want to start thinking about how good you are after four (holes)," Goodes said. "You're not going to finish too good then."

Goodes, whose only Champions Tour win came at the Allianz Championship in 2009, stumbled to a bogey on No. 7 before racking up back-to-back birdies.

Goodes and Larry Nelson, who were playing in the same group, went to No. 18 tied at 6 under. But Goodes watched Nelson hit a strong putt that shot past the hole en route to a bogey, which helped him judge his try well enough to sink it from above the hole at just under 20 feet.

"It's like a great shooter in basketball. It's my day, and you just keep shooting and think you're going to make everything," Goodes said. "You're seeing putts go in the hole, there's no reason to think the next one's not going to go."

Haas struggled in his previous two tournaments, tying for 29th at last week's Senior PGA Championship. But he had a 69 in his last round at Harbor Shores in Michigan and he carried it over into Friday.

Haas needed just 23 putts in the opening round, a welcome change of pace after struggling recently on the greens.

"Kind of a product of just working at it a little bit. Hit more solid putts and made some nice mid-range putts," Haas said. "My pace was good on my putts."

Graham Marsh, 68, scored the tournament's first hole-in-one since 2006 when he aced the 203-yard second hole. Marsh, who also had a hole-in-one on a different hole during a pro-am earlier in the week, blew his good fortune with three bogeys and a double bogey on the final seven holes and finished at 2 over.

"That's an amazing thing when you think about it," Marsh said. "I don't know if I've ever heard of three in one week, but I've still got three days to achieve it haven't I?"

Fuzzy Zoeller and John Harris both aced the 16th hole back in 2006.

Defending champion Bob Gilder opened with a 70. Gilder won at Glen Oaks for the second time in 2011 with a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole as Mark Brooks three-putted for bogey.

Brooks, whose bogey on the notoriously difficult par-4 17th hole precipitated his downfall last year, made par on that one Friday en route to a solid 67.

Tom Lehman, Mark Calcavecchia and Kenny Perry were part of an impressive group at 3 under.