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Golf Roundup : Green Birdies Final Hole for 63--and Lead at Phoenix

January 24, 1986|From Times Wire Services

PGA champion Hubert Green birdied his final hole for an eight-under-par 63 Thursday and a one-stroke lead in the first round of the $500,000 Phoenix Open.

"A fun round of golf," said the 39-year-old veteran, who scattered nine birdies across his card, including a 20-footer on his last hole at the Phoenix Country Club.

At 64 were defending champion Calvin Peete, former PGA champion Hal Sutton, Australian Greg Norman and Larry Mize.

Norman inadvertently violated a standard of golf etiquette when he drove the green on a 320-yard par-four hole, hitting into a crouched Jack Nicklaus, who was studying a birdie putt.

"I saw the ball out of the corner of my eye and stepped back from the putt," Nicklaus said. After a moment he returned to the putt and made it, for one of the few birdies he was able to convert on the warm, sunny day.

Nicklaus, 46, opened his 25th PGA Tour season with a 72. Tom Watson recorded the same total in his first round of the year.

Judy Dickinson and Betsy King shot four-under-par 68s to share a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the $200,000 Mazda tournament at Boca Raton, Fla.

Beth Daniel, Jane Crafter and Tammy Fredrickson were at 69 in the opening event of the 1986 Ladies Professional Golf Assn. Tour.

Defending champion Hollis Stacy and Kathy Whitworth were among nine players two strokes off the pace.

Pat Bradley had a 72.

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