David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot an 11-under 61 on Saturday to take the first-round lead in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
They opened up a one-stroke lead over Fred and Taylor Funk in the two-day, 20-team scramble event at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club’s Grande Lakes in Florida.
“To go out and have fun and hit good golf shots, make a couple putts, that’s always enjoyable, but it’s secondary to walking around the golf course with the entire crew,” said Duval, who made only one competitive start in 2016 – missing the cut in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
“We just scrambled,” added Karavites. “If I hit a bad shot, he hit a good shot.”
Team Duval has been preparing for the tournament since receiving an invitation two months ago.
“Anyone you talk to will tell you that this is the best week of the year,” Duval said. “If you’re fortunate enough to be asked to come play, invited to come play, you don’t pass it up.”
The Funks got off to a fast start including an eagle at the third hole, where Taylor – a member of the University of Texas golf team – hit a 3-wood from 265 yards to 30 feet and made the putt.
“Birdie, birdie, eagle start,” the elder Funk said. “That’s a dream start. We played really good. I counted three really good opportunities that we missed and probably another two that we could have made.
The Funks tied for second last year after a one-hole, four-team playoff won by Lanny and Tucker Wadkins.
Retief and Leo Goosen, Raymond and Robert Floyd, Stewart and Connor Cink, Bernhard and Christina Langer, and Mark and Shaun O’Meara were tied for third at 63.
Fan favourites John and Little John Daly shot 64.
“It was a blast to play,” Daly said. “To see a 13-year-old be clutch like that was great when his daddy was all over the place. It was pretty cool.”
The Wadkins opened with a 66. Jack and Jack Nicklaus II shot 71.