PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. Down to his last chance to earn a PGA Tour card, Ashley Hall opened the Web.com Tour Championship with his second-best score of the year even though he called a penalty on himself when he noticed his ball slightly move.
Hall bounced back from that penalty shot to birdie two of his last three holes for a 7-under-par 63 on the Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. That gave him a one-shot lead Thursday over Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Mark Anderson, who already is assured his PGA Tour card.
Karlsson, a former Ryder Cup player, also needs a big week to get his PGA Tour card back.
The Web.com Tour Championship is the last of four tournaments for 25 players to earn PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season. The top 25 are decided by a money list from the four tournaments. Players who already finished in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list from the regular season are assured a card.
Hall, 29, needed a round like this. The Australian had a chance to earn his card from the Web.com Tour money list last month until he missed the cut in the final regular-season event and missed out on the top 25 by $1,922. If that wasn't bad enough, he missed the cut in the last three events.
Because of rain all week, players competed under preferred lies. Hall placed his ball in the 15th fairway, and after grounding his club, noticed the ball move slightly downward. He called for an official and gave himself a one-shot penalty for his only bogey of the round. Hall has never had a PGA Tour card.
Senior Women's Amateur in San Martin Ellen Port successfully defended her Senior Women's Amateur title for her sixth U.S. Golf Association victory. Port, a high school teacher and coach in St. Louis, beat Susan Cohn, 50, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 3 and 2 at CordeValle.
Port, 52, the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup captain, won the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur four times.
"I love the spirit of amateurism," Port said. "I'm just a true amateur at heart."
Senior Men's Amateur in Cashiers, N.C. Doug Hanzel won the Senior Men's Amateur with a 3-and-2 victory over Pat O'Donnell in the championship match at Wade Hampton Golf Club.