HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Joey Sindelar, Bobby Clampett, Russ Cochran and Peter Senior shot 7-under 65s on Friday in the Regions Charity Classic to share the lead after the record-setting opening round.
The 77 players in the field had a scoring average of 69.519 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Ross Bridge course, breaking the tournament record of 70.397 set in 2002 when the Champions Tour event was played at Greystone.
“The course was just how we like it,” said Sindelar, a seven-time PGA Tour winner seeking his first Champions Tour title. “The grass from tee to green is fabulous. You can’t do it better. And with no wind out there, you’re going to see some nice scores.”
Ken Green, playing his first stroke-play event since having the lower part of his right leg amputated following an auto accident in June, shot a 74. He had four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey while walking the 7,396-yard course.
“It was hard, and I got emotional at times during the round,” Green said. “The four birdies I made was fantastic. I had lots of good hope out there, and I’m encouraged going forward.”
Thirty-four players were within three shots of the lead and 60 broke par.
“The course played firm and fast, but the speed was not such where too many putts would get away from you,” Cochran said. “So you could be fairly aggressive on the putts. I’m sure the pin placement will get tougher. But if the greens stay soft, people will fire at the hole.”
R.W. Eaks, David Frost and David Peoples opened with 66s, and Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Larry Nelson, Corey Pavin and David Eger, coming off a victory May 2 in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, topped a group at 67.
Defending champion Keith Fergus had a 71. Seven-time PGA Tour winner Bill Glasson also opened with a 71 in his senior debut.
Cochran reached 8 under, but bogeyed No. 17 to drop back into a tie for the lead.
“I just hit a weak putt,” Cochran said. “All I had to do was hit it solid with a little curve, and I didn’t do either.”