Eger takes one-stroke lead at First Tee

Saturday, September 4th 2004, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

PEBBLE BEACH, California (AP) _ Former PGA Tour official David Eger shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's inaugural First Tee Open on Friday.

Eger, who served two terms on the PGA Tour staff and was once senior director of rules and competition for the USGA, had six birdies and one bogey in warm, near-windless conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Links

D.A. Weibring, the Allianz Championship winner in May, was second after a 68, also at Pebble Beach in the event that includes play on the Bayonet Golf Course. Ryder Cup team member Jay Haas, Tom Watson, Peter Jacobsen and Bruce Lietzke were among 10 players at 70, and Bruce Fleisher and Gary McCord topped a seven-player group at 71.

``Pebble Beach was benign today,'' said Eger, who birdied four of his last seven holes. ``I played well and saved pars when I need to. There was no wind, really and the course is relatively easy right now.

``When we starting playing today, there wasn't a breath of wind. The greens aren't too hard or not too firm. But most of the back nine we played slightly against the wind and the down wind coming into the finish. It couldn't have been better.''

Eger, winless in 58 career tournaments on the PGA Tour, has one Champions Tour victory, the 2003 MasterCard Classic.

In 1996, he headed a group that made a controversial decision to cancel the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because of inclement weather early in third round. It's the only cancellation in tournament's 57-year history.

Two years later, when poor weather again hampered the tournament, the final round was postponed for seven months. The delay became known as the ``Eger Rule.''

Eger played in a foursome with junior Julianna Uhrik of Modesto, Calif., a freshman at Oregon State University. The Eger-Uhrik team also leads the combination pro-junior competition by one stroke at 8 under.

Arnold Palmer, one of four principal owners of Pebble Beach Company, shot a 75 on the Bayonet course.

The new 54-hole, $2 million tournament includes 78 Champions Tour players, teamed with two amateurs and a junior golfer. The top 22 pro-junior teams will advance to Sunday's final round at Pebble Beach. The winning pro will earn $300,000.