Jay Don Blake is just 3 back at the season’s first major

Jay Don Blake sinks a birdie putt on the 10th green to win a 4-man, five-hole playoff at the Songdo IBD, Incheon, South Korea, Sept. 18, 2011 | Photo courtesy of Jay Don Blake

Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of Blake’s Take, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Jay Don Blake is related to the writer of this article; he is also a pro-golfer with ties to our local community. This story is offered as an exception to our policy against related-party reporting, given Jay Don’s unique role in the story and his interest to the St. George News readership.

Blake shot the second-best round of the afternoon wave, as the winds picked up and the greens got harder and faster later in the day. The winds tend to blow much harder off of Lake Michigan in the afternoon.

Blake was -2 late in the round but a late double-bogey moved him back to even par. Blake had three birdies, one bogey and the double-bogey to go along with 13 pars.

“In major championships, you have to make lots of pars and capitalize when you have (birdie) chances,” Blake said. “And of course, you’re going to make bogeys out here, you just have to stay patient.”

Roger Chapman is the first-round leader after shooting a 3 under 68. Chapman is from England and is not a mainstay on the Champions Tour; Chapman plays on the European Senior Tour.

Chapman went out with the morning wave that saw seven players shoot under par versus the afternoon wave that only had one player under par. Only eight of the top 28 players started in the afternoon.

Chapman made five birdies in his round along with two bogeys. Chapman started with birdie on the first hole but bogeyed the second hole to drop back to even par. Chapman made three straight pars before making another bogey to move him to +1 through six holes. Chapman then turned it on birdieing three straight holes (7, 8, and 9) then made par on the par-5 10th hole, which was the easiest hole on the course in round one, before making his final birdie of the day on the 11th hole. He finished with seven straight pars.

John Cook is in second place just one shot back (-2) while Jim Carter, J.L. Lewis, Steve Pate, Jeff Sluman, David Frost, and Jay Haas are all two shots back at -1. All but Carter played in the morning wave.

Three of the top players on the Champions Tour are on the outside of the cutline after day one. The top-70 and ties make the cut. Last year’s player of the year, Tom Lehman, shot +5 Wednesday, as did former Masters champion and crowd favorite, Fred Couples; both are one shot behind the cutline. Leading money winner and former Senior PGA champion Michael Allen shot +6 yesterday.

Lehman and Allen both went out with the afternoon wave.

Blake’s tee time for tomorrow is 7:50 a.m. Eastern Standard Time – 5:50 a.m. in St. George.

Chapman will tee off at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, while Cook goes at 1:40 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Television coverage starts at 1o a.m. in St. George on the Golf Channel.

For more STATE TOURNAMENT talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com.

You can also checkout our KZNUSPORTS facebook page at www.facebook.com/kznusports.

email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @BlakesTake

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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