Mediate Red-Hot in Allianz Championship

Rocco Mediate is making a splash in his debut on the Champions Tour. Mediate, who turned 50 on December 17, fired an 11-under 61 to take a three-stroke in the Allianz Championship. The 54-hole, $1.8 million event began Friday on the Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mediate, a six-time PGA Tour winner who most famously is known for his gregariousness and epic 91-hole loss to Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open, carded five straight birdies on the third through seventh holes and made the turn in 5-under 31. The Pennsylvanian continued to roll on the home half, with birdies on Nos. 1-12 and 17 before an eagle on the par-5 closer.

His 61 smashed the tournament record of 63 set by Craig Stadler in 2007, and was one stroke better than his all-time tour professional best at Colonial in 2001. With a win tomorrow, Mediate will become the 16th player to win in his first start on the Champions Tour.

Mediate stands at 16-under 128, three clear of first-round Tom Pernice Jr. (65) and five in front of Bernhard Langer (67). Pernice and Langer led following 18 holes after 66s. David Frost (65) is in solo fourth at 135.

Sharing fifth at 136 are Larry Mize (67), Mark O'Meara (67), Fred Funk (69) and defending champion Corey Pavin, who also shot a 69.

Reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Tom Lehman opened with a 68 but shot a 1-over 73 Saturday to fall into a tie for 28th at 141 with 18 holes to go.

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