RENO - At the start of the week, Guy Boros' chances of playing in the 7th annual Reno-Tahoe Open seemed slim.
He was the 10th alternate on Monday, but moved up to No.1 on Tuesday afternoon. He finally got the call yesterday when Mark Brooks withdrew from the tournament.
The only problem was that Boros , who is ranked 994th in the world, was in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and had to make some quick travel arrangements to get here on time.
"I left last night (Wednesday) at 8:30," said Boros, who is 239th on the money list. "I got to Reno this morning at 1:30. I wasn't worried about not making it. I actually missed my first flight at 6:30."
Boros finally got to bed at 3 a.m., but not before he spent a half-hour in the casino.
"I was up for a while, but ended up giving the money back," said Boros. "Lucky I had a late starting time (12:33).
"I was hoping I would get a chance to play here. I've done really well here in the past. I don't think I've ever missed a cut."
And, it looks like that streak will continue.
Boros opened with a birdie on the first hole, and after pars at No. 2 and 3, he birdied the fourth and fifth holes en route to a 33 on the front side. He strung together birdies on 12, 13 and 14 to go 6-under-par. He gave a shot back on the par-3 16th, but then birdied the 18th with a nice 10-footer.
"The last six holes, I made some great putts," Boros said.
McCARRON RALLIES FOR 72
Reno's Scott McCarron was 3-over par after 11 holes, but carded three birdies on the last seven holes to finish the first round with an even-par 72. He is tied for 51st place.
McCarrron hit 10 of 14 fairways, and seemed pleased with his swing off the tee. He's worked very hard with Jim Hardy the last two days, and he's happy with his progress.
In an interview with The Golf Channel, McCarron said he worked with Hardy on keeping his left arm a little closer to his body.
"I though I hit it pretty good today," McCarron said. "I hope I can shoot three good rounds (in the next three days)."
McCarron had three birdies on the day.
The first came on the 355-yard par-4 13th. He drove the ball 272 yards off the tee and flipped a wedge from 63 yards to about 3 feet and sank the putt. The second came on the par-3 183-yard 16th. McCarron hit a 7-iron to 7 feet and drained the putt. The final birdie came on the 429-yard par-4 18th when he knocked a wedge to 21 feet and made the putt.
He certainly has to be encouraged by his finish.
The toughest hole for the opening round was the par-3 183-yard 16th. It played to an average of 3.364, yielding just 11 birdies, 79 pars, 28 bogeys, 11 double-bogeys and 3 triple-bogeys or worse.
The toughest par-4 was No. 8 which measures 464 yards in length. It played to a 4.258 average. The hole yielded 18 birdies, 73 pars, 32 bogeys, 7 double-bogeys and 2 triple-bogeys or worse.
As expected all four par-5s played under par. The average on the 518-yard fourth hole was 4.848. On No. 9, 616 yards, the average was 4.856, No. 11 which measures 584 yards had a 4.886 average and No. 17, a 636-yard hole, yielded a 4.841.
FACTS & FIGURES
David Duval continues to struggle. He shot the worst score of the day, an 8-over par 80 ... Todd Hamilton is one of four former British Open champions in the field, joining Ben Curtis, Duval and Mark O'Meara ... Duffy Waldorf entered the week with the lowest scoring average (70.48) for the four players that have made the cut in the previous six Reno-Tahoe Open. Brian Gay and J. P. Hayes are the other players to make all six RTO cuts ... The youngest player on the PGA Tour is Kevin Na, who is 21 years, 11 months and 3 days. Elk Grove's Spencer Levin also is 21... Dean Wilson posted the only eagle in the first round, sinking a 36-foot putt on No. 11 after a 260-yard approach shot... A total of 24 non-United States golfers are in the 132-man field. Australia's Aaron Baddeley shot a 5-under-par 67 and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik also shot a 67.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281