J.C. Snead matched the course record set by designer Jack Nicklaus in 1973, a 9-under-par 62, to take a one-stroke lead after Friday’s opening round of the Kroger Senior Classic at Mason, Ohio.
The bogey-free round was one stroke better than the tournament record set last year by Graham Marsh and equaled Friday by Isao Aoki, who rolled in a four-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to finish at 63.
Snead, who played in Nicklaus’ group when he shot 62, said his score probably came easier because he had shorter putts.
“The round I played today, there wasn’t much luck involved in it,” Snead said. “I hit it down the fairway and landed it close all day.”
At Somers Point, N.J., Amy Benz, a non-winner in more than 13 years on tour, shot a tournament-record 7-under-par 64 for a one-shot lead after the first round of the $750,000 ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Caroline Pierce, a nine-year veteran who is also looking for her first win, was second, a shot ahead of former champion Jane Geddes and rookie Wendy Doolan. Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum, Idaho, fired 34-33-67.
Kevin Sutherland conquered the winds in a 5-under-par 65 that gave him a one-stroke lead over D.A. Weibring halfway through the Greater Hartford Open in Cromwell, Conn.
Sutherland had six birdies, including one of the final hole, to finish 36 holes at 132. Former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett shot 70 for 141.
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