Paeglow Sets Record on Ross Course to Lead Peers

PGA Professional National ChampionshipDavid Paeglow and Pete Dye's latest great golf course design were the brightest stars on day one of the PGA of America's showcase event.

Paeglow, a 43-year-old head professional at Kishwaukee Country Club in Dekalb, Ill., holds a two-shot advantage in the 43rd edition of the PGA Professional National Championship after carding a course record 5-under-par on The Donald Ross Course Sunday at sprawling French Lick Resort.

Forty-five players out of the 312-man field were unable to complete their first round because of a passing thunderstorm that caused a nearly two-hour delay. Those golfers will be back out Monday morning at 7:25 a.m.

The lead for Paeglow could be short lived as he takes to the more demanding Pete Dye Course on Monday. The sprawling beauty made its debut in 2009, and subsequently earned "Best New Course of the Year" awards from nearly every major national and local golf publciation. On Sunday the mammoth layout that can stretch out to over 8,000 yards proved its might.

Thirteen of the top 16 finishers came from the group playing the Ross Course, and the best anyone could must on the Dye layout was a 1-under-par 71. Barry Evans, Jeff Martin and Rich Steinmetz all managed that total, and each now owns a piece of the competitive course record.

Each also trails by four strokes heading into Monday's play.

"Dead calm this is a brutal test," said Evans, who won the 2002 national championship at Valhalla in Kentucky. "I'm very proud that I was able to turn in a round like this today. I putted very well and am really happy."

Sunday at the PGA Professional National Championship

"It's a demanding golf course," said Martin, an assistant professional from Rhode Island. "There is no shot you can fall asleep on. I thought about playing The Donald Ross Course first, but now I've got this one out of the way and that gives me a good feeling. I know that I can't take anything for granted."

Paeglow seemed to disagree with the assessment that the Dye Course was a noticeably more demanding assignment.

"It was hard to tell which course would be the most difficult one," he said. "That's news to me. The Dye can be more challenging with the distance and the wind. I was trying to make as many birdies as I could and not stop. We have a lot of golf to play. There are a lot of great golfers in this tournament and I'm just trying to get as many birdies as I can."

Alone in the clubhouse in second place after one day of action is Jeff Hull, who serves as the PGA teaching professional at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens. Hull shot a 3-under 67 on The Donald Ross Course.

A group of players including defending champion Mike Small, who is the head men's golf coach at the University of Illinois in Champaign, are three shots off the pace set by Paeglow. All fired rounds of 68 on The Donald Ross Course.

The field will be trimmed to the low 70 scores and ties on Monday evening, and the remaining golfers will compete Tuesday and Wednesday on The Pete Dye Course.

Up for grabs is a spot in the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, entry into the 2011 PGA Cup and a pass into six PGA Tour events over a 12-month period, all of which go to the winner.

 

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