Couples, Haas share lead

Nov. 3, 2011 at 9:24 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Fred Couples and Jay Haas shared the lead at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship Thursday and Tom Lehman protected his advantage in the $1 million points race.

Couples, who will captain the American team at the Presidents Cup matches this month, and Haas, who will be an assistant captain, both shot a 3-under 68 in the opening round at the rain-soaked TPC-Harding Park course.

David Frost and Michael Allen were tied for third at 69 in the final event of the year on the Champions Tour.

Rain fell off and on during the first round and at times pelted down on the elite 30-player field.

Couples birdied five holes on the front nine and then hung on as the heaviest of the rains began to fall.

Lehman began the tournament in first place in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup, which will be decided this week and will go to the yearlong points leader. Lehman has a 382-point lead over Mark Calcavecchia in the chase for the $1 million top prize.

Calcavecchia, Peter Senior, John Cook and Russ Cochran are the only players with a chance to overtake Lehman and Lehman was ahead of all of them after the first round.

Lehman was tied for fifth at 1-under 70 with Kenny Perry and Rod Spittle. Calcavecchia and Senior both had a 71, Cook shot a 73 and Cochran fired a 74.

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