Flesch leads American Family Insurance Championship after Friday opening 65
Champions Tour

Flesch leads American Family Insurance Championship after Friday opening 65



by Sam Harrigan, Special to Golf News Net

After 18 holes of the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., Cincinnati native Steve Flesch leads all players after posting an impressive 7-under 65.

Flesch started strong, making birdie on two of the first four holes, adding an additional birdie on the eighth hole. The highlight of his round came on the par-5 11th hole, where he chipped in for eagle from just off the green.

Flesch continued his fantastic day with three consecutive birdies between the 14th and 16th holes.

Flesch was chased from the beginning by Miguel Angel Jimenez, whom he played with in the same grouping. Jimenez shot a bogey-free 66 that was powered by four birdies on the back nine, including three consecutive between holes 15 and 17.

Tournament host and heavy favorite Steve Stricker was around the front of the pack for the majority of the day, but a poorly played 17th hole left him with an unfortunately timed double bogey. Stricker found the sand on the par 3, but the typically soft-handed Stricker struggled from there, mixing in a bad sand shot with a three putt.

The group playing behind Stricker had defending tournament champion and Madison native Jerry Kelly. Kelly played well for the majority of the day, but was an uninspiring 1 under par at the turn. Late in the round, though, Kelly caught fire. Kelly moved from even par to 4 under in a four-hole span, highlighted by an impressive eagle on the par-5 16th hole. His score of 68 has him good for a tie in fourth place after 18 holes.

Despite a cold, rainy start, it seems that some of the earlier tee times were having more success scoring. Esteban Toledo, a member of the first wave of players to tee off, led for the majority of the day, as five straight birdies within his first seven holes, gave him a significant early advantage. Unfortunately, some late-round struggles kicked in as the wind picked up in the afternoon part of the day.

The course appeared to be a candidate to see some low numbers, but early rain and some heavy wind gusts in the later afternoon minimized this to some extent. Davis Love III, who was in a grouping alongside Stricker and Jim Furyk, posted the day’s
high score of a 7-over 79.

With the forecast for the rest of the weekend calling for rain most of Saturday and Sunday, today was the players' best shot to get a good number on the board.

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