Haas, Durant top Champions Tour leaderboard
CONOVER, North Carolina (AP) — Jay Haas and Joe Durant shot 8-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
Haas, the 2005 and 2009 champion, had an eagle and seven birdies on the first 14 holes at Rock Barn Golf and Spa’s Champions Course, dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th and closed with three pars. It was his best single round this season on the 50-and-over tour and extended his streak of sub-par rounds in Champions Tour events to 21.
“I had a great start,” said Haas, who won the last of his 16 Champions Tour titles in June 2012. “It was pretty magical. I played well all day, expect for the bogey where I three-putted. But overall, I couldn’t be happier.
The 50-year-old Durant rebounded from bogeys on Nos. 14 and No. 17 to shoot a 7-under 28 over his final nine holes. That equaled the tournament record for a nine-hole stretch, first set in 2011, and the Champions Tour mark for lowest nine-hole score this season.
He finished with eight birdies and an eagle.
“I’d have a good birdie, then I’d three-putt the next hole,” said Durant, a four-time winner on the U.S. PGA Tour. “I kept giving (the birdies) right back. But I was fortunate to make a birdie on No. 18 to turn (his first nine holes) at 1 under.”
Roger Chapman and Scott Dunlap shot 65. Kirk Triplett, a two-time winner this season, was another stroke back along with Bill Glasson, Mike Goodes, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate.