Loves Lead Father/Son Challenge


Davis Love III and his son Dru - Davis Love IV - carded a 12-under 60 to take the first-round lead of the 36-hole Father/Son Challenge. The $1 million, 18-team event began Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes in Orlando.

The Loves shot 29 on the front nine and a 31 on the back to go up by a stroke over Fred Funk and his son Taylor and Mark and Shaun O'Meara.

"We could have been better," said the senior Love, who with his son birdied five of the final six holes. "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."

The Loves finished as runner-ups the previous time the Father/Son was held in 2008; Dru was 14 at the time. Davis Love III said Saturday that the quality of play has improved since the previous go-round of the tournament four years ago. "I think this is completely different than when we played in it the other three times," he said. "There's a lot of teams that can shoot a low score any day, and the course is just sitting there for you."

The legendary Jack Nicklaus and his son Gary were part of five teams combining for 10-under 62s. Also at that number were Hale and Steve Irwin, Vijay and Qass Singh, Bernhard Langer and his daughter Christina, and Larry and son Josh Nelson.

"We've got a chance," said Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1999 title with Gary. "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."

The Funks were a last-minute addition to the field after Dave Stockton and son Dave Jr. pulled out following a death in the family. The rules call for the pro participants to either have won a major title or a Players Championship during their careers, and their children or grandchildren must not currently hold a PGA Tour card.

Fred Funk qualified as a winner of the Players Championship in 2005. "It was tough to get it all worked out, but it was great," he said.

David Duval and his stepson Nick Karavites shot a 63 along with Lee and Connor Janzen, and Nick and Matthew Faldo. Ray Floyd, a five-time winner of the Father/Son Challenge - three times with his son Raymond Floyd Jr. and twice with Robert - posted a 64 with Robert.

Other scores included a 65 by Fuzzy Zoeller and his daughter Gretchen; 66s by Lanny and Tucker Wadkins, Sandy and James Lyle, and Steve and Sam Elkington. Lee and Daniel Trevino shot a 69, while 83-year-old Arnold Palmer and his 18-year-old grandson Will Wears, a senior in high school, opened with an 80.

All players and caddies wore black ribbons in tribute to the victims of Friday's elementary school shootings in Connecticut. The tournament also held a moment of silence on the first tee before its start.


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