Originally created 09/26/03

Tway, Slocum share first-round lead with 61s



SAN ANTONIO -- Bob Tway had seven straight birdies in a 9-under 61 Thursday and was tied with Heath Slocum for the lead after the first round of the Texas Open.

They matched the course record at the La Cantera Golf Club in the limestone hills north of San Antonio. Garrett Willis had a 61 last year.

Tway was 8 under after a birdie on the 527-yard, par-5 14th, but he bogeyed the next hole. He then birdied 16 with a 15-foot putt and 18 by dropping a 20-footer.

"You know on a calm day you better shoot a good round because a lot of people are going to," said Tway, whose victory in the Bell Canadian Open earlier this month was his first since 1995.

The La Cantera course was softened by recent rains and with the wind nothing more than a gentle breeze, low scores were the order for most of the 141 players in the field. All but 34 finished at par or better on Thursday.

Slocum played a bogey-free round marked by several small bursts of birdies. He got to 9 under on the 380-yard, par-4 16th before ending his round with two pars.

"The putter just started going and I went for it all 18," he said. "I had a pretty good frame of mind."

Aaron Baddeley, who had seven birdies in an eight-hole span, finished with a 62, while Tom Byrum, Cameron Beckman, Cliff Kresge and Rory Sabbitini had 63s.

Baddeley, at 22 the youngest player in the field, was 9 under with two holes to play, and his mind drifted to the PGA record books.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about 59," he said.

But any thoughts of matching the tour's best-ever round vanished on the next hole, when Baddeley recorded his only bogey of the day.

Defending champion Loren Roberts had a 64, which tied him with Tommy Armour III, Duffy Waldorf, Dan Forsman and John Huston.

Forsman also had a run of seven birdies over eight holes and was 8 under with four holes to play. He too admitted dreaming of 59, but he bogeyed 15 and 16.

"All in all, though, it was great for me - I needed a boost," said Forsman, who has missed the cut in four of his last six outings. "Tomorrow I need to go out and hit fairways and greens."

Huston was 7 under after 17 holes before taking an adventurous route to a round-finishing bogey.

His drive on the 426-yard, par-4 18th landed behind a tree on the left side. Huston swung his putter left-handed to slap the ball back into the fairway, but then his third shot dropped into a bunker right of the green. He nearly salvaged par with a wedge shot, but the ball lipped out.

Among other prominent players, David Toms shot a 66, Sergio Garcia finished at 68 and John Daly shot a 70.

Tway's string of birdies, starting on the 162-yard, par-3 6th, matched this year's best, and was one short of the PGA record, last done by J.P. Hayes at the 2002 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

But unlike Baddeley and Forsman, he didn't focus on a 59.

"I did think about trying to make a few more in a row," he said. "I got a little aggressive with the putt on (No. 13, a par) but I'm not known for being overly aggressive with my putts, so it was a nice change."