Davis Love III, son Dru lead Father-Son Challenge
- Associated Press
- December 15, 2012 - 4:52 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. - Davis Love III and son Dru birdied five of the last six holes for a 12-under 60 in the Father-Son Challenge scramble event, giving them a one-stroke lead Saturday after the first round.
Dru Love is an Alabama freshman after winning five Georgia state titles in high school.
"We could have been better," Davis Love III said, "but he made a couple of nice putts that kept it going. We birdied some of the hard holes and let a couple easy ones get away."
Mark O'Meara and son Shaun, and Fred and Taylor Funk were a stroke back, and Larry Nelson, who won the last two Father-Sons in 2007-08 before the event went on a three-year hiatus, was two shots back with son Josh.
Bernhard and Christina Langer, one of two father-daughter pairings, also was 10 under at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes along with 72-year-old Jack Nicklaus and son Gary, Hale and Steve Irwin, and Vijay and Qass Singh.
"We've got a chance," said Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1999 title with Gary as his partner. "It's all about winning; that's the way I've played all my life. I don't like second place, I don't like third place. I don't like any other place. I like first place."
Gary Nicklaus, who played on the PGA Tour from 2000-02, is a reinstated amateur who qualified for this year's U.S. Amateur.
The Loves finished second when the Father/Son was last played in 2008, when Dru was 14.
"I think this is completely different than when we played in it the other three times," said Davis Love III. "There's a lot of teams that can shoot a low score any day, and the course is just sitting there for you."
The Loves matched the best front-nine score at 7-under 29, then parred Nos. 10-12 to slip off the pace. A birdie at the short par-4 13th broke the skid.
The Funks only got into the field Wednesday, when Dave Stockton and son Dave Jr. withdrew because of a death in the family. Fred had to scramble to rearrange some sponsor obligations, but got in one pro-am round before teeing it up Saturday.
"It was tough to get it all worked out, but it was great," said Fred Funk, who qualified for the field by virtue of his 2005 Players Championship triumph.
Arnold Palmer, the oldest player in the field at 83, had an 80 in tandem with grandson Will Wears. It was the first appearance for the big-hitting Wears, a Pennsylvania high-school senior who watched cousin Sam Saunders play in earlier editions.
All players and caddies wore black ribbons to honor the victims of the school shootings in Connecticut. The tournament also held a moment of silence on the first tee before Lee and Connor Janzen struck the opening drives.
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