Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Tom Pernice Jr. and Bart Bryant matched the Canyon Meadows course record at 8-under 62 to share the first-round lead Friday in the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic.
The 54-year-old Pernice birdied his first five holes — Nos. 10-14 — and had 10 birdies and two bogeys on the rain-softened course. The two-time PGA Tour winner won the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his third Champions Tour title.
“The greens are pretty receptive,” Pernice said. “I think they were hoping to get the greens a little firmer.”
The 52-year-old Bryant, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied five of his last eight holes. He won his lone Champions Tour title last year.
“I did everything pretty well today,” Bryant said. “Drove the ball in the fairway for the most part, which is important here. Obviously, putted well. Anytime you shoot 7 or 8 under you’ve had a good day with the putter and hit some close iron shots. I just did everything solid. I had a couple of nice bounces out there as well.”
Pernice and Bryant tied the course record set last year by Bill Glasson.
Pernice hit a pitching wedge to 6 feet on the par-4 10th, two-putted from 12 feet on the par-5 11th, made an 18-footer on the par-3 12th, added a 17-foot putt on the par-4 13, and closed the birdie run with a 6-footer on the par-3 14th.
“Obviously, the swing’s feeling pretty good and the ball’s kind of going where you want it to and the key is you’re able to capitalize and make some putts,” Pernice said “I just tried to stay calm and relaxed and just keep going, put the pedal down and just keep going.
“I had good control of the golf ball, drove the ball in play quite well really, especially the first nine holes.”
David Frost was a stroke back. Joe Durant and Joe Daley shot 64, and Craig Stadler was another shot behind along with Michael Allen, Woody Austin, Mark McNulty and Steve Elkington.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 67, two days after turning 57. The German player has a tour-high five victories this season and tops the Charles Schwab Cup points race and money list.
Fred Couples and defending champion Rocco Mediate shot 68. They played alongside Canadian Stephen Ames.
“We did have a good time, but none of us really did anything on the greens,” Mediate said.
Mediate won the inaugural tournament by seven strokes, shooting 63-64-64 to match the tour record for fewest strokes in a 54-hole event.
Couples is struggling with some of his iron shots.
“I told my caddie if I ever hit an iron left of the hole I was going to buy him dinner,” Couples said.
The Calgary-based Ames opened with a 70.
“You almost feel like you’re being pulled in 15 different directions,” Ames said. “This week’s been a long week already. ... But at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to be able to stay at home and play golf.”