LRTO: Playing at Montreux takes experience

RENO - The wind blew all day. It even rained a little bit. Simply put, it made for a miserable, uncomfortable day at the opening round at the 11th annual Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.

Despite the weather, 66 pros shot par or better over the difficult 7,472-yard par-72 layout. The winds reached 38 miles per hour.

"It was blowing from the get-go," said Jeff Quinney, who shot an opening-round 3-under 69. "I think it picked up as the round went on, definitely."

Rod Pampling the first-round leader with a 67, said the strength of the wind was a big factor. He admitted this is one of the toughest couces when it comes to windy conditions.

"Just a few stops that we have that are a little bit like this," Pampling said. "Just the strength of the wind out here ... It can be blowing 20 mph straight at you and then all of a sudden it's 20 mph the other way. You normally get those little switches when the wind isn't so strong.

"There would be times when you would hit a shot and have absolutely no wind. A minute later, it's 20 mph. So it was kind of bizarre. You've got to be on the ball. You're always looking up to the trees just to make sure. Myself and my caddie were definitely working overtime making sure we got the right club."


Jonathan Kaye, who shot a first-round 68, was an early morning visitor to the interview room.

Kaye lists being an avid indoorsman as a hobby. That didn't go unnoticed by one of the local reporters.

"That means I don't like being outside (except when I'm golfing)," Kaye said. "When I have my free time I like to be inside. People don't really read that you know."

Said moderator Laury Livesay, "Oh, they love that stuff."

"I try to change it all the time," Kaye said. "One year I was a jalapeno farmer."


Of the six former champions in the field only three - Vaughn Taylor, Parker McLachlin and Steve Flesch - broke par.

Taylor is one of seven players tied for second at 68. McLachlin fired a solid 69 and Flesch is at 1-under 71.

Chris Riley finished with a first-round 72, Kirk Triplett is at 74 and Will MacKenzie shot a 77.

Taylor was pleased with his round, especially on the front, where he had four birdies.

"I was hoping to play well," Taylor said. "I have a lot of good memories here and had just a lot of good feelings this morning getting ready for the round and yesterday the same thing.

"I felt like coming into today, my game's in pretty good shape. I just have to continue what I'm doing."

If Taylor wins this event for the third time, he would become the first player since Leonard Gallett to have his first three PGA victories at the same event. Gallett won the Wisconsin PGA Championship in 1929, 1933 and 1934.


The two par-3s on the back, Nos. 12 and 16, played the toughest on the first day of the tournament.

The 16th played to a 3.351 average. It yielded eight birdies, 34 bogeys, six double-bogeys and two triple-bogeys.

The 12th played to a 3.252. It gave up 12 birdies, 39 bogeys and three double-bogeys.

The easiest hole was a tie between No. 4, a par-5. The hole played to a 4.840 and gave up 47 birdies, 22 bogeys and five double-bogeys. The other "easy" hole was the par-5 11th, which also played to a 4.840. It yielded 37 birdies, 18 bogeys and one double-bogey.

CHIP SHOTS: Paul Azinger, who shot a first-round 69, pounded a 3-wood 301 yards en route to a birdie on his final hole ... Gabriel Hjerstedt withdrew and his spot was taken by Phil Tataurangi ... Three former PGA champs shot 69s - Steve Elkington, Shaun Micheel and Azinger ... There were 17 rounds below 70, 35 below par and 66 at par and below. There were 65 rounds over par and six over 80, including Charley Hoffman, who was considered one of the pre-tourney favorites ... Pampling's 67 is the worst first-round leading score in tournament history. The previous worst was a 66 three different years.


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