Former Ohio State teammates John Cook and Joey Sindelar fired a better-ball total of 10-under-par 70 to grab the first-round lead at the 38th annual Bass Pro Shop Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge on Friday.
Playing at the Buffalo Ridge Springs Course, the pair recorded 10 birdies in their bogey-free round. They lead the teams of Jay Don Blake/David Frost and John Huston/Mark Brooks by one stroke. Former Ryder Cup teammates Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam posted the day’s low round in the Champions Division at the par-3 Top of the Rock course, finishing at 7-under-par 47. Cook and Sindelar closed with a flourish, making four straight birdies on the 6,714-yard course with each registering two birdies. In the Legends Division, Bruce Fleisher and Larry Nelson shot a 7-under-par 47 at Top of the Rock to lead John Bland and Graham Marsh by three strokes.
Cook and Sindelar have enjoyed previous success in this event. They were runner-ups to Mark O’Meara and Nick Price in 2010, losing in a two-hole playoff and were also second in 2012. In addition, they also were T3 in 2009 and T4 in 2008. All of those finishes were in Savannah.
Jeff Sluman, one half of the winning Champions Division team in 2014, is currently T12 after a 5-under-par 65 with his new partner Tom Lehman. Sluman had teamed with Brad Faxon to win in 2012 and Fred Funk a year ago. However, due to Funk’s uncertainly prior to the event with an elbow injury, Sluman teamed with Lehman, a former winner in this event with Bernhard Langer, who is not competing in this year event due to scheduling issues. Sluman is bidding to become the first player to win three straight titles with a different partner.
After being one-over through four holes at Top of the Rock, World Golf Hall of Famer Larry Nelson and Bruce Fleisher turned things around over their final 14 holes with seven birdies and lead the Legends Division by three strokes. Last year’s Legends Division winners, Jim Colbert/Jim Thorpe are currently T3.
There were just two eagles on Friday and both were posted by the team of John Huston/Mark Brooks at the Buffalo Ridge course. Both eagles were recorded by Huston on Nos. 1 & 8, both par-5s.
John Huston owns a pair of wins in previous team events. He teamed with Kenny Perry to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2005 and with Amy Benz to claim the 1988 JC Penney Classic.
The World Golf Hall of Fame team of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player shot a 3-under-par 51 at the Top of the Rock on Friday. The pair is currently T3 in the Legends Division.
The teams of David Frost/Jay Don Blake and John Cook/Joey Sindelar each had 10 birdies to lead the field in that category.
First-Round Leaderboard (Champions):
John Cook/Joey Sindelar (BR) 30-30–60 (-10)
David Frost/Jay Don Blake (BR) 29-32–61 (-9)
John Huston/Mark Brooks (BR) 29-32–61 (-9)
Tom Pernice, Jr./Bob Tway (BR) 31-31–62 (-8)
Duffy Waldorf/Corey Pavin (BR) 31-31–62 (-8)
First-Round Leaderboard (Legends):
Bruce Fleisher/Larry Nelson (TR) 26-21–47 (-7)
John Bland/Graham Marsh (BR) 33-33–66 (-4)
Jim Colbert/Jim Thorpe (BR) 32-35–67 (-3)
Jack Nicklaus/Gary Player (TR) 26-25–51 (-3)
Dave Eichelberger/J.C. Snead (BR) 34-33–67 (-3)