Langer shoots 63 to take Champions Tour lead
PEBBLE BEACH, California (AP) — Bernhard Langer birdied his first four holes and finished with a 9-under 63 to open a four-stroke lead Friday in the opening round of the PGA Champions Tour’s First Tee Open.
The 56-year-old German star, a two-time winner this year on the 50-and-over tour, had nine birdies in his bogey-free round at Del Monte Country Club. He had a 6-under 30 on the back nine — his opening nine.
“I got off to a fantastic start today,” Langer said. “Conditions were very nice, although the wind picked up later in the round.”
Defending champion Kirk Triplett, Tom Lehman, Andrew Magee, Mark McNulty and Doug Garwood were tied for second at 67. They also all played at Del Monte.
Scott Hoch birdied the ninth hole — his final hole of the day — to shoot a 2-under 70 for the low round at Pebble Beach. He was the only player among the top 22 scorers who played at Pebble Beach.
Langer, who hadn’t played in the tournament since his first event on the Champions Tour in 2007, also missed several birdie attempts while flirting with a sub-60 round.
“I actually left a 5-footer on the seventh hole and 7-footer on the sixth hole and some others,” Langer said. “I’m not too happy about that.”
Triplett, who like Langer started on the back nine, had four straight birdies, beginning at the 17th.
“I had a few loose shots and left a lot of birdie opportunities out there,” Triplett said. “The greens were excellent and receptive and they were a little first firmer this year.”
The final round will be played Sunday at Pebble Beach.