PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernhard Langer birdied his first four holes and finished with a 9-under 63 to open a four-stroke lead Friday in the Champions Tour's First Tee Open.
The 56-year-old German star, a two-time winner this year on the 50-and-over tour, had nine birdies in his bogey-free round at Del Monte Country Club. He had a 6-under 30 on the back nine — his opening nine.
"I got off to a fantastic start today, with birdies on the first four holes," Langer said after playing Del Monte in tournament competition for only the second time in his career. "Conditions were very nice, although the wind picked up later in the round."
Defending champion Kirk Triplett, Tom Lehman, Andrew Magee, Mark McNulty and Doug Garwood were tied for second at 67. They also all played at Del Monte.
Fred Couples, Dan Forsman, Russ Cochran, Joey Sindelar, Mark Calcavecchi and Jerry Haas followed at 68, also all at Del Monte.
Langer, who hadn't played in the tournament since his first event on the Champions Tour in 2007, also missed several birdie attempts while flirting with a sub-60 round.
"I actually left a 5-footer on the seventh hole and 7-footer on the sixth hole and some others," Langer said. "I'm not too happy about that. But poa annua does that to you."
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