NAPLES, Fla. – Playing partners Sandy Lyle and Stephen Ames matched the course record at 8-under 63 to share the first-round lead Friday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic.
Lyle topped a leaderboard for the first time in 155 career starts on the 50-and-over tour. The 61-year-old Scot won the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters.
“Surprising, I just kept knocking some wedges quite close and never really put the putter under pressure,” Lyle said. “Today was one of the good days and I might even have a few beers at the bar before I go and drive home.”
Ames had a hole-in-one with a 9-iron on the 141-yard 12th hole at The Classics at Lely Resort. He won the 2017 Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his lone senior title.
“The course is there for the taking,” Ames said. “It’s soft out there and the pins are somewhat accessible. Kept the ball in play and made the most of the opportunities when they arose. … You’ve got to keep your foot down on the pedal here because the golf course is so easy and soft, they’re going to be going at every flag basically out here.”
Jay Haas, at 65 years old, bettered his age for the first time on the tour with a 64.
“I’ve missed by one for the last six years,” Haas said. “I shot 60 at the Schwab Cup at Desert Mountain when I was 59, and I shot a 61 somewhere when I was 60, and a 62 when I was 61.”
Dudley Hart, Glen Day, Ken Tanigawa, Dan Olsenand Kent Jones shot 65.
Steve Stricker opened with a 67.
Bernhard Langer, the Oasis Championship winner last week near his home in Boca Raton, had a 68. The 61-year-old German star won the event in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
Hale Irwin, at 73 years old, bettered his age for the 40th time on the tour, shooting a 70. He won the tournament in 1997 and 2002.
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