Mediate grabs early lead in Hawaii

The Sports NetworkJanuary 17, 2014 

Kaupulehu-Kona, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Rocco Mediate shot 9-under-par 63 on Friday to grab the first-round lead at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Mediate, who won twice in 2013 as a Champions Tour rookie, went bogey-free with seven birdies and an eagle at Hualalai Golf Club.

Dan Forsman, the 2012 Mitsubishi champ, shot 8-under 64 to grab second place, while Fred Couples snared a share of third with a 65. Couples stands alongside Steve Elkington, Fred Funk and Tom Pernice Jr.

Bernhard Langer, who is dealing with an ailing thumb, carded a 6-under 66. The German is tied for seventh with Jay Don Blake, Mark O'Meara, Bart Bryant and Jeff Sluman.

"I sprained it yesterday. I jammed it," Langer told the Golf Channel. "It was pretty painful. I had to quit in the pro-am, but I got some help from the (trainer) and took an anti-inflammatory. It's feeling a little better. I still have pain on most of the shots but it's reasonable. I'm hoping to be able to play the tournament and get some more treatment in the next couple of weeks."

Defending champ John Cook is tied for 17th place with three others at 3-under 69.

Forsman grabbed the early clubhouse lead on Friday, needing just 24 putts during his round. He birdied four of his first six holes, then tripped to a bogey at the eighth.

Around the turn, Forsman didn't drop another shot, picking up three birdies and an eagle to hit the clubhouse at 8-under.

Mediate didn't drop a shot all day.

The 51-year-old turned in 30, notching four birdies and a chip-in eagle at the seventh over that span. He added three more birdies during his back nine, including one at the last, to move in front.

Couples tallied a pair of eagles on Friday, adding four birdies. His lone bogey of the round came at the par-3 fifth, but he rebounded at the seventh, where his approach caromed off a patch of lava and onto the green, setting up an unlikely eagle.

NOTES: Mediate is making his debut at this event ... Reigning Charles Schwab Cup winner Kenny Perry is tied for 34th place after shooting even-par 72 ... This is the first of 25 official events in the season-long competition for the Charles Schwab Cup ... The field is comprised of players who have won a Champions Tour major championship within the last five seasons or a Champions Tour co-sponsored and approved tournament in the last two years, plus sponsor exemptions.

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