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Bryant Stays Hot


Bart Bryant is continuing his fine play. The 50-year-old rookie fired a 6-under 66 to take the opening-round lead in the Boeing Classic. The $2 million, 54-hole Champions Tour event began Friday at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge east of Seattle.

Bryant won his first tournament on the over-50 circuit in last week's Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. Another week later on the other side of the nation, the younger brother of Brad Bryant carded five birdies and a bogey on the front nine for a 4-under 32, then tacked on another three birdies and a bogey on the home half for a one-stroke lead over Duffy Waldorf and Bobby Clampett.

No first-round leader has ever gone on to win this event in the previous eight years. After being informed of that in the post-round press conference, Bryant responded: "The way I look at it, it's gotta happen sometime, right?"

Two strokes out of the lead are Germany's Bernhard Langer, Kirk Triplett - a native of Moses Lake, Wash., and Dick Mast.

Bryant, whose victory came in the 1,000th Champions Tour event, was happy with another consistent performance in Round 1 of the Boeing Classic. "It was a good way to start. I wish I could have hung on there late," he said in reference to his bogey on the tough par-3 17th hole.

"Kind of ran out of steam the last few holes, but overall, a great day. I'll take a 66 every day for the rest of my life."

Seattle native Fred Couples posted a 69 for a share of seventh with Tom Lehman, John Cook and John Riegger. Another Northwest native, Portland's Peter Jacobsen, carded a 70 along with 11 others.

Defending champion Jay Don Blake opened with a 72.

The leader in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup, Kenny Perry, shot a 70.

Mark Calcavecchia, the 2011 Boeing Classic champion, withdrew after 12 holes with a back problem.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.

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