CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Rocco Mediate eagled two of the final four holes to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's inaugural Shaw Charity Classic.
The 50-year-old Mediate, the Allianz Championship winner in February in his first Champions Tour start, had an 8-under 63 at tree-lined Canyon Meadows. He played the final five holes in 6 under, making eagles on the par-5 15th and 18th and birdieing the par-3 14th and par-4 17th.
“I didn't realize I shot that low on the back,'' said Mediate, who had a 7-under 29 on the final holes.
He credited caddie Martin Courtois for helping him get the ball rolling.
“I changed something up with putting today, just had Martin line me up because I hadn't made a lot for a while,'' Mediate said. “Today, he lined me up and I made a lot of putts. We'll stick with that for a while.''
Bart Bryant, Jeff Sluman, Bobby Clampett and Canada's Rod Spittle were a stroke back.
“Obviously, it was a very solid day and again it just started great right from the start,'' Spittle said. “I drove it in the fairway all day, hit a whole bunch of greens and I hope to be equally as boring the next couple days so we can chat again.''
Bryant birdied three of his final four holes.
“I had a little bonus by making about a 20-footer on the last hole,'' said Bryant, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open winner two weeks ago in Endicott, N.Y., for his first Champions Tour title. “I didn't play the hole very well, but was able to make a birdie so that was kind of a bonus.''
Michael Allen, Sandy Lyle, Scott Hoch, David Frost and Craig Stadler shot 65.
“The great thing about this tournament and this golf course, I think there will be 15 or 20 guys with a chance to win on Sunday,'' Allen said “You want to get out and make some birdies and keep going right now.''
Fred Couples opened with a 69.
The tournament is the 50-and-over tour's third event in Calgary. Don January won the 1983 Peter Jackson Champions at Earl Grey, and Brian Barnes won the 1998 AT&T Canada Senior Open at Glencoe.