THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the final two holes Friday for a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead in the Invesco QQQ Championship, the second of three events in the PGA Tour Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.
Coming off a victory two week ago in Virginia in the playoff opener, Jimenez joined Billy Mayfair and Woody Austin atop the leaderboard at Sherwood Country Club. The 55-year-old Spaniard had eight birdies and two bogeys, rebounding from a bogey on the par-3 15th with birdies on the par-3 17th and par-4 18th.
“I think it’s the putter,” Jimenez said. “I’m happy with all aspect of my game and I feel good and I feel happy on the golf course. It’s a very nice golf course. I think it’s nice to place the ball always in the right place.”
Jimenez has two victories this season and is 10th in the season standings, with the top 36 advancing to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week at Phoenix Country Club.
Mayfair is 46th in the standings, leaving him fighting to get into his hometown event.
“Obviously, I need to play real good the next two days to have a chance to get to Phoenix, a hometown event, next week,” Mayfair said. “So that’s on my mind, but I’ve just got to go out tomorrow and just start with one and play the next two days the best I can.”
Mayfair birdied Nos. 14-17 and closed with a par. The five-time PGA Tour champion is winless on the 50-and-over tour.
Austin, fifth in the standings, also birdied Nos. 14-17 and closed with a par. He has four senior victories.
“Really, all it was was I got it close enough to where I could make them,” Austin said.
Gene Sauers and Tom Gillis shot 67, and Retief Goosen, Chris DiMarco, Tommy Tolles and Kirk Triplett followed at 68.
Sauers played a five-hole stretch in 6 under, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 13th. Gillis eagled the par-5 11th. Sauers is 41st in the standings, and Gillis 38th.
Charles Schwab Cup leader Scott McCarron opened with a 70. Second-place Jerry Kelly, playing alongside McCarron with the players grouped by the standings, had a 72.
Five-time Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer, fourth in the standings, shot 70.
Defending event champion Scott Parel also opened with a 70.
John Daly was the last player to get into the field and was last among the 51 starters at 78.
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