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English Trio Leads British Seniors

July 25, 1996

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) _ Englishmen Malcolm Gregson, Neil Coles and Roy Smethurst shot 5-under-par 67s Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior British Open.

The three, playing the links course at the Royal Portrush Golf Club, were one stroke ahead of Tom Wargo of the United States, Tommy Horton of England and Bob Charles of New Zealand.

Charles, the 1963 British Open champion, turned a bad day into a strong round.

``I felt pretty lousy but not because this is my seventh event in a row,″ said Charles, who played last week in the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

``I ate something yesterday and my stomach has been upset. Hopefully, I will feel better. But I probably played better because of it. I slowed my swing down and kept my head down.″

Wargo, who won this event two years ago, reeled off six birdies after 12 holes but then took a double-bogey on the par-4 13th to join the pack. He parred the final five holes.

``I came out pretty hot,″ he said. ``... you can’t win it on the first day, but you can lose it.″

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