Mike Swartz wants to earn back some of the money he's spent the past nine years working his way to the PGA Tour. Patrick Lee is just happy to be playing in the St. Jude Classic.

The two shot 7-under-par 64s Thursday for a share of the first-round lead with John Cook and John Daly."There's so many great players out here, it will take everything I've got to stay in contention by Sunday," said Swartz, who has missed eight of 14 cuts in his rookie year.

Ronnie Black, John Adams, Jim Carter, Stuart Appleby and Frank Lickliter opened with 65s. David Peoples, Anders Forsbrand and Steve Jurgensen were two strokes back at 5-under, and 11 were tied at 4-under.

Lee, 24, finally picked up a sponsor's exemption from FedEx after being turned down in previous years as an amateur at the University of Mississippi.

"I was relieved," said Lee, who finished second on the Nike Tour last week and had seven birdies, an eagle and two bogeys Thursday. "I've been waiting a while to play in this tournament."

Swartz was a teammate of Daly's for a year at the University of Arkansas in 1985-86 before Daly went on to win the 1991 PGA Championship and last year's British Open. Swartz is a PGA Tour rookie who needed nine tries to pass qualifying school.

"I really haven't done a whole lot this year. I've been learning up to this point," he said.

Daly, in the process of selling his home that sits off the 16th fairway, played his way into a share of the lead with six birdies, one eagle and a bogey in front of the home folks. His best performance this year was a tie for 10th at the Kemper Open.

"They don't get a chance to see me play at other tournaments. To win a tournament not only in front of family, but a lot of special friends and great people, it would mean a lot to me," Daly said.

For Cook, a veteran so disappointed with his game that he toyed with the idea of quitting back in March, had five birdies and an eagle for his best round this year.

He credited a firm and hardening TPC at Southwind course for aiding his game and allowing him to be aggressive off the tee.

With six career victories and more than $4 million in earnings, Cook wasn't sure whether he wanted to remain on tour with two children growing up back home in California. But two days of practicing with old friend and teacher Ken Venturi in March reignited his competitive streak.

LPGA Rochester International

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - With rain forming a small lake on the first fairway, officials at the LPGA Rochester International had no choice but to give in.

A day-long downpour suspended the first round of the tournament Thursday, shortening it to 54 holes from 72.

After a four-hour rain delay, several groups of golfers teed off before mid-day. They were ordered back to the clubhouse 45 minutes later when the clouds opened up again and Locust Hill Country Club turned too soggy.

View Comments

While meteorologists predicted a chance of thunderstorms through Sunday, LPGA organizers were optimistic the tournament would get started today.

BMW International Open

MUNICH, Germany - Ireland's David Higgins, playing his first full year on the European tour, shot an 8-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the BMW International Open.

France's Marc Farry and England's Phil Golding and Lee Westwood opened with 65s on the St. Eurach Land-und course. Paul Azinger, the 1990 and 1992 winner, shot a 74.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.