Forsman takes lead at Greater Hickory Classic
CONOVER, N.C. — Dan Forsman overcame back problems Friday to shoot a 7-under 65 and take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize in the Greater Hickory Classic.
Forsman had eight birdies and a bogey in the opening round on Rock Barn Golf and Spa’s Jones Course. He won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii in January for his third Champions Tour title.
The 54-year-old player pulled a back muscle two weeks ago.
“I hadn’t struck a ball until (Thursday),” Forsman said. “I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on the putting green, and that paid off. I knew I had to play sensible because I had my limitations … but my momentum built up once I made some putts. It was fun. I enjoyed the heck out of it.”
Frost and Mize had bogey-free rounds, and Funk had four birdies and a closing eagle on the par-5 18th.
“I had a few opportunities early that I didn’t make,” said Funk, who won at The Woodlands in Texas in May for his seventh Champions Tour title and first in nearly two years. “But it turned out to be a good day.”
Defending champion Mark Wiebe and Jay Don Blake shot 67. Wiebe had a hole-in-one on No. 3.
“That ace on No. 3 was just lucky,” Wiebe said. “I didn’t even know it had gone in. I heard some people cheering on the green, but I thought that was because I had hit it close.”
Tom Lehman, 69 points behind leader Bernhard Langer in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, opened with a 68. Langer, the winner Sunday in the SAS Championship in Cary, had a 70.
Last week, Forsman had a second-round 80 and finished 78th at 10 over.
“I’ll tell you how bad it was (last week) … on the ninth hole, I had a spasm so bad I hit the deck,” Forsman said. “My son (Tommy) had to help me up so I could finish the round.”
After the final two regular-season events, the top 30 on the money list will advance to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Nov. 1-4 at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. Forsman is 24th with $568,519.
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time, because I’m trying to make the Schwab Cup,” Forsman said. “I’ve got a lot riding on that personally, so I’m grateful to be able to come out here and play as well as I did today.”
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.