Austin takes first-round lead over Pavin, Sauers at SAS Championship

Cary, NC – Woody Austin owns the early one-shot lead as he fired a 6-under 66 on Friday at the SAS Championship, the PGA Tour Champions event being held at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.

First Round Notes

Woody Austin, 33-33 – 66 (-6)

  • This marks the fourth time Austin is a first-round leader/co-leader and the first time since the 2019 Invesco QQQ Championship. He is 1-for-3 in converting those leads into victory (2016 Cologuard Classic).
  • Last year, Austin opened with rounds of 67-67 and was the 36-hole co-leader with Doug Barron. He closed with a 1-under 71 and finished T3.
  • Prior to last year, Austin had not finished in the top-15 in his first five starts at the SAS Championship.
    Austin has six top-10s this year, the most recent being a T5 at the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, and he’s No. 11 in the Charles Schwab Cup.

Corey Pavin, 33-34 – 67 (-5)

  • Pavin birdied all three par 3s en route to a 5-under 67, matching his best score of the year (3-under 67 in the second round of the Sanford International).
  • Prior to Friday’s 67, Pavin had not broken par in his previous six rounds at Prestonwood Country Club. Entering this week, he had a 71.71 scoring average in eight starts at the SAS Championship (best finish: 4th/2017).
  • Pavin’s lone win on PGA TOUR Champions was at the 2012 TimberTech Championship. In all, he has 52 top-10s in 187 starts.
  • His best finish this season was a T36 at the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National and he’s currently 76th in the Charles Schwab Cup.

Gene Sauers, 34-33 – 67 (-5)

  • Sauers finished birdie-eagle-par en route to a first-round 67, his fourth straight opening round of 68 or better.
  • He has posted top-10s in each of the last three years at the SAS Championship. In 2018, he opened with rounds of 62-67 and shared the 36-hole lead with Bernhard Langer, but he closed with a 3-over 75 and finished T5.
  • He is coming off a T10 at the PURE Insurance Championship, his first top-10 of the season, and is No. 31 in the Charles Schwab Cup.

Other Notes

  • Jim Furyk was 2-over through 14 holes but finished his round with four straight birdies and carded a 2-under 70. After wins at The Ally Challenge and PURE Insurance Championship, Furyk is seeking to become the first player to win his first three starts on any of the six PGA TOUR-sanctioned tours.
  • Three past champions are in the top-10 after 18 holes:

              T4, -4/68 – Colin Montgomerie (2017)

              T4, -4/68 – Kirk Triplett (2014)

              T7, -3/69 – Kenny Perry (2011)

  • Two-time SAS Championship winner Bernhard Langer (2018, 2012) opened with a 2-under 70 and is T16.
  • Defending champion Jerry Kelly is T35 after a first-round 72.
  • Four members of the World Golf Hall of Fame are among the top-16 after the first round: Montgomerie (T4), Langer (T16), Vijay Singh (T16) and Ernie Els (T16).