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Frost Hot Out of the Box in Champions Tour Opener
David Frost fired a 7-under 65 to take the opening-round lead in the season opener on the Champions Tour, the $1.8 million Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalia in Kona, Hawaii.
Frost, a 53-year-old South African with three wins on the over-50 circuit, carded six birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 seventh hole) and a bogey to go one up on Tom Kite, Kirk Triplett, Willie Wood, John Cook, Fred Couples and Tom Lehman. Another stroke back is John Huston, Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry.
Frost said he began the 2013 season where he left off. "I finished up 2012 by birdieing the last hole and I birdied the first hole this year so I couldn't have wished for a better start," he said at greenside.
"I hit the ball very well out there today," added Frost, who has gone without a three-putt in an amazing 218 consecutive rounds. "I missed a couple short putts, made one really long one for eagle. I wouldn't say my game was rusty; it was quite good considering I took one month off. It was just a matter of concentrating at the right times."
Lehman, who came from behind to take the 2012 Charles Schwab Cup and underscore his status as the only player in history to sweep Player of the Year honors on all three major American professional golf tours - in order, the Web.com, PGA and Champions tours, is off to a good start in the 2013 campaign.
Though the Minnesota native knows tour golf is a grind, he seems to be up for the challenge after a relaxing off-season. "That was really tight last year," Lehman told reporters about the conclusion to his 2012 season, which culminated with his emotional Charles Schwab Cup title at season's end while his good friend and longtime swing coach, Jim Flick, was dying of cancer.
"It came right down to the final tournament . . .There are so many strong players out here, so many great players, that you have to keep on working, keep on improving," Lehman noted.
Defending champion Dan Forsman opened with a 73, while recently appointed 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson posted a two-birdie-one-eagle-bogey 69 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed, 7,117-yard Hualalai Resort Golf Course.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/tournaments/mitsubishi-electric-championship-at-hualalai/leaderboard.html.