Senior leads Charles Schwab Cup Championship
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Australia’s Peter Senior shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The 54-year-old Senior had nine birdies, an eagle and three bogeys at TPC Harding Park to match the event first-round record set by Jim Thorpe in his 2003 victory at Sonoma Golf Club.
“That was probably the best round of golf I’ve played this year,” Senior said. “I putted well and hit it well.”
Senior won the Australian Open last year for his 19th PGA Tour of Australasia victory. He’s seeking his first Champions Tour title after finishing second five times — including three playoff losses — in 93 career starts.
“That’s the only disappointing thing,” Senior said. “It’s such a great tour and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a little disappointing I haven’t won in four years. You’ve got to be fortunate at the right times and I haven’t done enough down the stretch, going par, par, par when I needed a birdie to make the difference. Hopefully, it might happen.”
David Frost shot 64, missing a short putt on the 18th hole. Fred Couples was third at 65, and Mark O’Meara had a 66. Bernhard Langer, Steve Elkington and Duffy Waldorf shot 67.
Charles Schwab Cup points leader Kenny Perry topped the group at 68. Perry entered the event 612 points ahead of second-place Langer. If Langer wins the tournament, Perry needs only to finish fifth or better take the season title and $1 million annuity.
Senior shot a 6-under 30 on the front nine, culminating with an eagle on the ninth hole. He birdied Nos. 11 and 12 and allowed himself to start thinking big.
“I started counting the easy holes that I could possibly birdie,” he said. “As soon as I thought that, I made a bogey.” ″
Frost has two victories season, including his first senior major victory at the Regions Tradition in June.
Couples is dealing with neck and back issues. He had a double bogey on the eighth hole.
Couples had nine birdies, three immediately before his double bogey and two immediately following.