Jimenez shoots 65 to lead Greater Gwinnett field

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm •  Published: April 18, 2014
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DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez's first round on the Champions Tour went quite well.

After one eagle, five birdies and a tournament record, Jimenez proclaimed "I love it!" and then departed in search of a couple of his usual staples.

So far, life is good for the Spaniard on the 50-and-over tour.

Avoiding a post-Masters letdown, Jimenez shot a 65 on Friday to lead the cold, soggy Greater Gwinnett Championship by three strokes.

"Very good start," Jimenez said.

"Now it's time for a nice, warm shower, a nice fat cigar and a glass of Rioja. ... I'm desperate to find one of my cigars and have a glass of wine."

Jimenez, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Masters, was 6 under on his first nine holes, including an eagle on No. 18. He added another birdie on No. 2 and closed with seven straight pars at TPC Sugarloaf.

Bernhard Langer set the previous tournament record with a 66 while winning the 2013 inaugural championship.

Langer, Steve Pate and Kenny Perry are three strokes behind Jimenez.

Perry said he thought Jimenez might have a letdown after his strong finish in Augusta.

"It's funny, you go from the PGA to the Champions, it's so much more laid back and relaxed over here," Perry said. "The atmosphere is different. I actually didn't know what he'd do today. Honestly, I didn't think he would shoot 65. I thought he'd be more the other way, after a fourth-place finish, it'd be a letdown this week.

"He's amazing. He's fun to watch. He's a great player."

The 65 came six days after Jimenez shot the low round of the Masters, a third-round 66.

Jimenez is focused on making the European Ryder Cup team and may have limited time on the Champions Tour this year. Perry, the 2013 player of the year, said Jimenez will be good for the tour.