Bud Cauley has the same good vibes at Sea Island even if the stakes are different this time.
The McGladrey Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga., is where Cauley’s tie for 15th last year helped secure his PGA Tour card, joining an elite list of players who went from college to a full tour card without going to Q-school. Now he’s after his first win, and Cauley took a big step Thursday by overpowering the course for an 8-under-par 62.
It was his best score on the tour, and it gave him a share of the lead with Marco Dawson.
Winning is about all that remains for Cauley, a 22-year-old who left Alabama after his junior season. He already has made more than $1.7 million this year, and has moved up to No. 55 in the world.
Dawson is in a more desperate position.
The McGladrey Classic is the penultimate PGA Tour event that counts toward the money list, and Dawson is at No. 216 with $62,026 in 20 tournaments. The top 125 earn full cards for next year, so Dawson likely has to win to avoid a return to Q-school.
Two guys on the bubble — Boo Weekley (No. 121) and Rod Pampling (No. 124) joined Greg Owen at 64.
TIE FOR TOP IN PERTH
Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and New Zealand’s Michael Hendry each shot 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead in the Perth International in Perth, Australia. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo was a stroke back.
TOUR EXPANDS NORTH
The PGA Tour acquired the Canadian Tour, giving it smaller circuits north of the border and in South America.
Web.com Tour cards will be awarded to the top five in money in on what now will be called “PGA Tour Canada,” with the next five players given exemptions into the final stage of qualifying school for the Web.com Tour. The Canadian circuit will have at least eight tournaments next year, each with prize money of about $150,000.