ENDICOTT, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Sutherland shot a 7-under 65 for a share of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open lead Friday, three years after scorching the En-Joie course for the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history.
Sutherland had eight birdies and a bogey to join Wes Short Jr. atop the first-round leaderboard.
“I think I just feel comfortable on the course,” Sutherland said. “I think the key to this golf course is driving the ball in the fairway and I’ve been doing that ever since I got here for some reason. I like the way it must look off the tee and hit a lot of good tee shots today and hit the ball in the fairway.”
Winless on the 50-and-older tour, Sutherland hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on the course softened by morning rain.
“Greens are a little receptive with the rain we had earlier, so I was able to be a little bit aggressive with some iron shots,” Sutherland said. “I birdied all the par 5s and it all started with just getting the ball in the fairway.”
Short also had eight birdies and a bogey. He was coming off a 62 in the final round of the 3M Championship two weeks ago in Minnesota.
“I hit it from tee to green pretty good and putted nicely, so it was a nice round,” Short said. “I haven’t been getting off to very many good starts this year, so it feels great to get off to a good start, finally.”
Colin Montgomerie was a stroke back along with Mark Brooks, Russ Cochran and Corey Pavin. Montgomerie holed out from 80 yards for eagle on the par-4 10th.
Joey Sindelar, from nearby Horseheads, had a 67. He won the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open in 1985 and 1987 at En-Joie.
John Daly had a 68, and Charles Schwab Cup leader Bernhard Langer and defending champion Paul Goydos shot 69. The 59-year-old Langer has a tour-high four victories this year, winning three of the tour’s five major championships.