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Three Fire 64s in First Round of Senior Players
Joe Durant, David Frost and Doug Garwood each carded 6-under 64s to take a share of the opening-round lead in the Senior Players Championship. The $2.7 million event - the third major of the year on the Champions Tour - began Thursday at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh.
Rookie Durant, a four-time PGA Tour winner, had seven birdies and a bogey, while Frost, a 54-year-old South African with five Champions Tour titles, posted six birdies, the same flawless scorecard enjoyed by Garwood.
The 50-year-old Durant told reporters his accuracy paid off Thursday as players sought to avoid the rough, made denser by recent precipitation. "It's not the thickest rough, but it's very wet and dense," Durant said. "It's a penalty if you get in there, and you're at the mercy of the lie.
"The fairways are fairly wide, but as soft as they are they're not playing as tight as they typically would," noted the Florida native. "If it was firm and fast, this would be a very difficult driving course. Being that they're soft they're much more generous.
"It's not the longest course we play, so you can attack especially as soft as they greens are," Durant added. "Obviously, that can change if the sun bakes things out a little bit."
Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin, Larry Mize, Steve Pate, Olin Browne, Bart Bryant, Peter Fowler and Wes Short Jr. each posted 65s. The 56-year-old Langer is seeking his 21st win - and third major overall - this week on the Champions Tour.
Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin, Larry Mize, Steve Pate, Olin Browne, Bart Bryant, Peter Fowler and Wes Short Jr. each posted 65s. The 56-year-old Langer is seeking his 21st win - and third major overall - this week on the Champions Tour. The German World Golf Hall of Fame member has a 240-point lead in this season's Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Pavin is looking to get back to the winner's circle, a place he hasn't visited since the 2012 Allianz Championship. "It's been a year not to remember, so it's nice to get a good round in," the diminutive Californian said. "Good start to the tournament. Long way to go, but I certainly feel good about the way I played today."
The low scores continued on a day on the rain-softened course, especially the greens. England's Barry Lane, Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty and Americans Mark Brooks, Tommy Armour III, Bob Tway and Marco Dawson posted 66s.
Seeking his fourth major title on the over-50 circuit in the past year, defending champion Kenny Perry opened with an even-par 70.
Rocco Mediate, who grew up in nearby Greensburg, Pa., and is a gallery favorite, was among a big group to start out with 67s. Also posting that number were Bobby Clampett, Bill Glasson, Brad Bryant, Mark O'Meara, Billy Andrade and Tom Lehman, who won last week's Encompass Championship.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.