Gay moves into position for first PGA Tour victory

Friday, October 27, 2006

Brian Gay isn't on any bubble at the Chrysler Championship. He's simply in the lead.

Too far down the money list to make the Tour Championship, too high up to sweat over losing his PGA Tour card, Gay played without worries and without a bogey Thursday at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla., to post a 7-under 64 for a two-shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia.

In the tournament where the emphasis is on money, the 34-year-old Gay is interested only in his first PGA Tour victory. He got off to a tremendous start on the Copperhead Course, one of the toughest tests in Florida with greens that Ernie Els said were as fast as any he has played all year on the PGA Tour.

Gay had little problem with his putting, making three of his birdies from at least 20 feet.

Calcavecchia is No. 128 on the money list and playing for pride, not to mention a spot in The Players Championship. He earned a two-year PGA Tour exemption from winning the Canadian Open last year.

Champions Tour

Jim Thorpe was back in his familiar spot atop a Champions Tour leaderboard in wine country, taking a one-stroke lead over Tom Kite with a 6-under 66 in the opening round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma, Calif.

Thorpe, who won the season-ending tournament in 2003 and owns titles in two additional northern California events, holed a 70-yard wedge shot for an eagle on the second hole. He rode that momentum to the early lead, with a $2.5 million purse and several season-ending awards still up for grabs in the 29-player event.

Craig Stadler and Bob Gilder finished two strokes back at 68.

Dubai Ladies Masters

Annika Sorenstam shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Ladies European Tour's season-ending Dubai Ladies Masters.

U.S. Women's Mid-Am

University of Mississippi coach Meghan Bolger won the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur title for players 32 and older.

-- The Associated Press

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