Bob Charles, a left-hander taking advantage of Canterbury Golf Club’s five dogleg holes to the right, matched the course record with a 66 Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the U.S. Senior Open at Beachwood, Ohio.
The New Zealander had a birdie and four pars on the holes that favor the natural draw of a left-handed swing.
His 6-under round was the best in relation to par at Canterbury, which has hosted a PGA Championship, two U.S. Opens and two U.S. Amateurs. The 66 matched Bobby Clampett’s competitive record set during the 1979 Amateur, but that was when the course played to a par of 71.
Charles, playing in the eighth of 52 groups, took advantage of favorable conditions early in the day. The course toughened as the day went on, with gusting winds drying the greens.
Only seven other players in the 156-man field broke par; all but two teed off before 10 a.m.
The winner of the 72-hole tournament collects $212,500 from a purse of $1.2 million.
Brad Bryant, who needed 18 years and 475 tournaments to earn his first PGA Tour victory, just missed the Western Open record with an 8-under-par 64 and took a one-stroke lead after the first round at Lemont, Ill.
Bryant, who won the rain-shortened Walt Disney Classic last year, shot 31 on the front side of Cog Hill’s 7,073-yard Dubsdread Course. He finished with eight birdies and had nary a bogey in missing the tournament record by one stroke.
At Dublin, Ireland, Bernhard Langer, regaining his putting confidence, fired an opening-round 4-under-par 67 to lead the Irish Open by two strokes.
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