COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. >> Pitching great John Smoltz managed only five pars in his debut at the U.S. Senior Open, shooting a 15-over 85 on a Broadmoor course that was rough on full-time players, as well.
Only six players with morning tee times cracked par in today’s opening round. Rocco Mediate was in a three-way tie for the lead at 2 under — in the mix again for a national championship 10 years after his epic, 19-hole playoff loss to Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open.
Deane Pappas and Kevin Sutherland were also at 2 under, with Billy Mayfair, Scott Parel and two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen a shot behind.
Much of the buzz centered on Smoltz, the Hall of Fame pitcher who won a three-man playoff last month to qualify.
He found himself buried in the rough for much of the day, and after a triple bogey on his fifth hole, he was fighting to break 80.