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Haas & Waldorf Set Pace in Senior PGA Championship
Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf fired 5-under 66s to share the opening-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship. The Champions Tour major began Thursday at Bellerive Golf Club in St. Louis.
After carding two birdies on the front nine, the 59-year-old Haas - who won the tournament in 2006 and '08 - tacked on three more birdies on the back side. "I'm certainly very excited about shooting 5-under here," said Haas, who was born in St. Louis, raised in nearby Belleville, Ill., and has played the course many times.
"It's probably my lowest score ever at Bellerive, no matter what age I was," he added. "I didn't expect it going out. I wasn't very sharp today, but managed to keep my misses in the correct spots and I took advantage of a few good iron shots and just kind of kept it between the ditches, I guess you would say. But very, very pleased with that."
Starting on the 10th tee, Waldorf, a rookie on the senior circuit, went out with three birdies to make the turn on the par-71 course in 3-under 32. On his home half, the 50-year-old added three more birdies. His only dropped shot came on the par-4 fifth hole (his 14th).
Sharing third after 67s are Japan's Kiyoshi Murota and club pro Sonny Skinner. The 52-year-old Skinner, a teaching pro at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., was on the PGA Tour for three years in the 1990s. He carded six birdies and two bogeys.
Two strokes behind the co-leaders are Australia's Peter Senior and Taiwan's Chien-Soon Lu. Another club pro, Mark Mielke - the head pro at Mill River Club in Oyster Bay, N.Y., is among a big group of players opening with 69s. Others posting that number include Tom Watson - who won the Senior PGA Championship in 2001 and in 2011 - and Champions Tour rookie Rocco Mediate.
Defending champion Roger Chapman opened with a 1-over 72. Michael Allen, who won the event in 2009, carded a 73.
Bernhard Langer, an 18-time Champions Tour winner who enjoys a big lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points standings off of two wins this year, got off to a poor start with an 8-over 79.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pga.com/seniorpga/scoring/leaderboard.