Kite, Cook lead First Tee Open
Friday, July 6, 2012
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — John Cook closed with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth hole at Del Monte for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with 62-year-old Tom Kite on Friday in the First Tee Open.
Kite also opened at Del Monte. He won the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of his final two rounds in the Champions Tour event.
Cook won the 1981 Crosby for the first of his 11 PGA Tour titles. He had the eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
"It was nice way to finish the round," Cook said. "I made a lot of birdies and took advantage of my chances. If you have a good round here you know you have a chance. You've got to manage Pebble Beach and keep damage to a minimum."
He's winless this year after sharing the tour lead last season with three.
"My irons and wedges were on today," said Cook, who made four birdie putts from 8 feet or closer. "I took advantage of the par 5s. The greens are really good."
Kite birdied his final two holes. He had six birdies and one bogey.
"I played a really nice round today," said Kite, who won the last of his 10 Champions Tour victories in the 2008 Boeing Classic. "I had a nice lesson on the range yesterday with Peter Jacobsen and Olin Browne on my swing. It really helped. I was a little off on my backswing."
Mark McNulty, Loren Roberts and Tom Pernice Jr. were a stroke back. They also played at Del Monte.
Brad Bryant had the best score of the day at Pebble Beach, shooting a 69. Mark Calcavecchia, Corey Pavin, Gary Hallberg and Peter Senior shot 69 at Del Monte.
Michael Allen, a two-time winner this year, had a 70 at Del Monte.
Defending champion Jeff Sluman had a 71 at Del Monte. He also won the event in 2008 and 2009.
Joe Daley, the Senior Players Championship winner Sunday at Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh, shot a 73 at Pebble Beach.
Eighty-one junior players from the First Tee program played alongside the pros.