Sixty-five-year-old Gil Morgan shot his age on Friday for a share of the first-round lead with Australia’s Peter Senior and two others in the Champions Tour’s Championship event in Minnesota.
Chien Soon Lu and Steve Pate also shot 7-under 65.
Joel Edwards, Tom Jenkins and Mark McNulty were a stroke back. Past event champions David Frost, Bernhard Langer and D.A. Weibring were at 67 along with Joe Daley, Jeff Hart and Willie Wood.
On an ideal sunny day with a slight breeze, Morgan had seven birdies in his bogey-free round. He won the last of his 25 Champions Tour titles in 2007 at Pebble Beach.
Morgan, fighting injuries and inconsistency this season, has only one top-25 finish in 11 starts this year and five in his last 27 events. In his last 75 tournaments dating to 2008, his best finish is third.
Morgan said he struck the ball well, but missed four putts in the 6- to 10-foot range, while making a handful of long ones, including a 40-footer for birdie on the par-3 13th.
Senior, who tied for second last year, made four birdies in a five-hole stretch to get to 5 under, then had birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 – on his back nine – to move into a tie for the lead.
Pate had his best round on the 50-and-over tour. He worked with Dave Stockton on his putting for about 20 minutes Thursday and switched from a belly putter to a traditional one this week. The 51-year-old Pate birdied three straight holes early in a round and hit every green in regulation.
Lu had eight birdies and a bogey.
Tom Lehman, the former University of Minnesota player who teamed with Arnold Palmer to design the TPC Twin Cities, had a 68. Lehman grew up in Alexandria, Minn.
Defending champion Jay Haas opened with a 71.