Golf: St. George's Jay Don Blake leads in 1st round for Schwab Cup
Scottsdale, Ariz. • Defending champion Jay Don Blake birdied three of the final four holes for a 6-under 64 and the first-round lead Thursday in the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The winner last year at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the 54-year-old Blake, who is from St. George, had a one-stroke lead over Gary Hallberg.
Fred Couples, Jay Haas, Olin Browne and Bill Glasson shot 66 on Desert Mountain's Cochise Course. Couples is playing for the first time since a back injury forced him to withdraw from the Boeing Classic in August.
Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer birdied the final two holes for a 69, Tom Lehman shot a 68, and Roger Chapman had a 69. Langer has a 211-point lead over Lehman and 657-point advantage over Chapman.
Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott took advantage of the par 5s at Mission Hills and each had a 7-under 65 on Thursday to lead the HSBC Champions after the first round in Shenzen, China.
Oosthuizen, who won the British Open at St. Andrews two years ago, played bogey-free and birdied all five par 5s on the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed course. Scott, the runner-up at the British Open this summer, made four birdies and an eagle on the par 5s.
Two-time HSBC Champions winner Phil Mickelson was a stroke back along with Masters champion Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry of Ireland and Peter Hanson of Sweden, who can overtake Rory McIlroy on the European Tour money list with a victory in this World Golf Championship.
Oosthuizen and Scott are both looking for their first PGA Tour win this year.