ST. LOUIS — Paul Goydos, Doug Barron and Marco Dawson each shot 5-under 66 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' inaugural Ascension Charity Classic.
Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Wes Short Jr., Steve Flesch and Cliff Kresge were a stroke back on Norwood Hills' West Course, the tree-lined layout where Ben Hogan won the 1948 PGA Championship for his second major title.
Goydos had six birdies and bogey in his morning round.
"I had a good day," Goydos said. "I think also playing in the morning was a little softer and a little more inviting didn't hurt either. But I hit a lot of fairways, I hit a lot of greens and I made a lot of putts and that's usually a good formula. It's amazing how that works."
John Daly opened with a 68.
"It's an old traditional golf course," Daly said. "It's something we don't get to play a lot anymore and it's really cool."
Daly went to Helias High School in Jefferson City, also starring as a kicker and punter. On Wednesday night, he threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers-Cardinals game — a toss he unsuccessfully tried to fire over the screen behind the plate.
"St. Louis has always been a great fan base of any sport," Daly said. "Bellerive was crazy a couple years ago. It's just so awesome. They've always been a great town, a great city of sports. Love the Cardinals, love their Blues, and that's what you love about coming here, it's just a great, great fan base city and it's good to have them on my side."
Furyk bogeyed the par-4 17th to fall out of the tie for the lead.
"I got off to a fast start, that's for sure, birdieing four of the first six," Furyk said. "Did a good job of really hitting a lot of fairways, I drove the ball really well today, excited about that. These greens are severe so there's times where it's tough to get the ball close or it's tough to put the ball in a position where you can be aggressive with the putter."
BMW PGA Championship
VIRGINIA WATER, England — Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand took the outright lead at the BMW PGA Championship as a slew of Ryder Cup hopefuls moved into contention after the second round of the flagship event on the European Tour on Friday.
Aphibarnrat, who started the day in a tie for the lead, shot 4-under 68 to be 12 under overall. That's one stroke clear of Laurie Canter (66) and Francesco Laporta (65), and two ahead of Adam Scott (69).
Justin Rose needs a win this week at the tour's headquarters at Wentworth to qualify automatically for the Ryder Cup and the Englishman shot 68 to follow up an opening 67, leaving him tied for fifth place and three shots off the lead along with Billy Horschel (65) and Jamie Donaldson (66).
Shane Lowry shot 66 and was in a six-man group a further stroke back, with the Irishman knowing a big week could move him into a qualifying position in the world points list — one of the two routes to an automatic place in Padraig Harrington's European team. Lowry, the 2019 Open champion, has never played at the Ryder Cup.
Neither has Bernd Wiesberger, but the Austrian birdied five of his last eight holes for a 67 to move into a tie for 19th place on 6 under overall and, as it stands, above Rory McIlroy into an automatic place on the European points list. If Wiesberger stays there, McIlroy would get in via his world points.
It is one of the biggest weeks of Wiesberger's career and he asked for the Ryder Cup not to be brought up before conducting his post-round interview on British broadcaster Sky Sports.
A finish inside the top 50 is set to be enough to get into Harrington's team, piling on the pressure for Wiesberger at the weekend.
The fortunes of Wiesberger and Lowry have an impact on Lee Westwood's chances of automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup via the world points list, but the 48-year-old Englishman gave himself a chance of clinging onto a qualifying place by making four birdies in his last seven holes for a second straight 70.
That left Westwood tied on 4 under overall with Henrik Stenson (71), who is relying on a captain's pick to make it to the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in two weeks.
A pick is now the best Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter can hope for, too. He chipped in for birdie at the last but his 71 will see him miss the cut on 1 under par, one shot off the number.