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Walrus, Bernhard & Duffy Do Well in Storm-Delayed Encompass Championship
A lengthy rain delay interrupted the first round of the Encompass Championship. Bur, although not all the field completed play in the $1.8 million Champions Tour event, Duffy Waldorf, Craig Stadler and Bernhard Langer emerged as the overnight clubhouse leaders.
The trio opened with 5-under 67s at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill.
When storms came through the Chicago area at 12:22 p.m., the players retreated to the clubhouse. The tournament didn't restart until more than three and a half hours later.
Stadler, who on Friday topped his best score on the over-50 circuit since the AT&T Championship in late 2008, carded five birdies to tie rookie Waldorf and 18-time Champions Tour winner Langer, the season-long leader in the Charles Schwab Cup points' race on the over-50 circuit.
Twenty-three players must return Saturday morning to complete their first rounds. The 60-year-old Stadler was one of the lucky ones to finish. "It was hard getting your short-irons close, because the ball kept spinning back," Stadler said of finishing in the dark on a rain-softened course.
Sandy Lyle, Blaine McCallister, David Frost, Jeff Hart, Jeff Sluman, Gary Hallberg and Scott Hoch posted 68s. Peter Senior and Mark Calcavecchia were also at 4-under but didn't finish their rounds. Senior had completed 16 holes before darkness forced him to the clubhouse, while "Calc" will have to play four holes Saturday morning before the start of the second round.
Eight players completed 69s, with another six at 3-under but still needing more work to make it official.
Tournament favorite Fred Couples opened with a 2-under 70. The 2013 inductee in the World Golf Hall of Fame carded five birdies and three bogeys.
Couples is one of seven World Golf Hall of Famers in the field, joining Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Langer, Sandy Lyle and Nick Price. It was a mixed bag for these much-honored players. Crenshaw shot an 81, Irwin and Price a 71, and Kite a 75.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.