ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Bud Cauley has the same good vibes at Sea Island, even if the stakes are different this time.
The McGladrey Classic is where Cauley did well enough to secure his PGA Tour card, joining an elite list of players who went from college to a full tour card without going to Q-school. Now he’s after his first win, and Cauley took a big step Thursday by overpowering the course for an 8-under 62.
It was his best score on the tour, and it gave him a share of the lead with Marco Dawson.
Winning is about all that’s left for Cauley, the 22-year-old who left Alabama after his junior season. He already has made over $1.7 million this year, and has moved up to No. 55 in the world.
Dawson is in a more desperate position.
The McGladrey Classic is the penultimate PGA Tour event on the schedule that counts toward the money list, and Dawson is at No. 216 with only $62,026 in 20 tournaments. The top 125 earn full cards for next year, so Dawson likely has to win to avoid a return to Q-school. His year has gone so badly that Dawson doesn’t even look at the money list.
Two guys on the bubble — Boo Weekley (No. 121) and Rod Pampling (No. 124) joined Greg Owen at 64. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, the tournament host, was in a group at 65 that included Sea Island neighbor Zach Johnson, David Toms and Camilo Villegas, who is No. 152 on the money list.
Jim Furyk shot 66 in his first event since the Ryder Cup.
TWO SHARE FIRST-ROUND LEAD AT PERTH INTERNATIONAL: In Perth, Australia, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and New Zealand’s Michael Hendry each shot 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead in the Perth International.
Canizares had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at Lake Karrinyup, and Hendry put together five birdies on his second nine. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo was a stroke back, and Englishmen Paul Casey and Andrew Johnson shot 67 in the event sanctioned by the European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia.
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and American Jason Dufner were tied for 29th at 71.