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GOLF ROUNDUP

Pavin (26) Sets Nine-Hole Mark

July 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

Corey Pavin struggled to find the right description for his record-setting round Thursday in Milwaukee.

It was somewhere between magical and downright weird.

Brilliant early and nervous late, the 46-year-old Pavin broke the PGA Tour's nine-hole record with a front-nine 26 en route to a nine-under-par 61 and a three-stroke lead in the suspended first round of the rain-soaked U.S. Bank Championship.

He birdied his first six holes and eight of the first nine in his bogey-free round on the Brown Deer Park Golf Course.

"It seemed like it was a misprint up there, maybe," Pavin said.

"It was just one of those nine holes, once in a lifetime for me so far, anyway."

Arjun Atwal opened with a 64, Skip Kendall and Cameron Beckman shot 65s and David Frost also was five under through 17 holes when play was suspended.

Defending champion Ben Crane and 105 other players were unable to finish the round.

Pavin broke the nine-hole mark of 27 set by Mike Souchak in the 1955 Texas Open and matched by Andy North (1975 B.C. Open), Billy Mayfair (2001 Buick Open) and Robert Gamez (2004 Bob Hope Classic).

He started out with a 39-foot birdie putt on the first hole. On No. 4, he made a putt from nearly the same distance and he moved to six under with a four-footer two holes later.

Pavin, who won the U.S. Open in 1995 and the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1986 among 14 tour victories, managed only one birdie on the back nine -- at the 16th.

"To shoot 26 on the front side, it's like playing putt-putt. That's truly amazing," Kendall said. "I need to grab his shirttails and hang on."

Pavin hit only three of 13 fairways in regulation, and only three minutes after he got off the course, thunderstorms moved through and delayed play the rest of the afternoon.

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Loren Roberts, who won three tournaments on the Champions Tour to open the season, shot a five-under 65 for a share of the lead in the Senior British Open at Turnberry, Scotland.

He had the only bogey-free round of the day and shared the lead with Peter Jacobsen and Craig Stadler.

"I got off to a really good start to the year and have played really well off and on," Roberts said.

Defending champion Tom Watson struggled in his return to Turnberry with a two-over 73.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Mr. 26

Corey Pavin scorched the front nine of the Brown Deer Park Golf Course. The best nines in PGA Tour history:

26: Corey Pavin, first nine of the first round of the U.S. Bank Championship

27: Robert Gamez, first nine of the third round of the 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic

Billy Mayfair, second nine of the final round in the 2001 Buick Open

Andy North, second nine of the first round in the 1975 B.C. Open

Mike Souchak, second nine of the first round in the 1955 Texas Open

Source: www.bestcourses.com

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