KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Rocco Mediate fought off a left hip problem to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Mediate shot a 9-under 63 on Friday at Hualalai Golf Course, playing the first seven holes in 6-under with four birdies and a chip-in eagle on the par-5 seventh. He added birdies on Nos. 10, 14 and 18 — holing a 15-footer from the fringe on the closing hole.
"I almost didn't play. My left hip is really bothering me," said Mediate, a two-time winner last year in his first season on the 50-and-over tour after winning six times on the PGA Tour. "The chiropractors here are exceptional. I went out and told myself to try and play. It actually got better as the round went on. This came out of nowhere."
Mediate is marrying longtime girlfriend Jessica Somers at the Four Seasons Hualalai on Monday, then heading to Torrey Pines — the site of his 2008 U.S. Open playoff loss to Tiger Woods — to play the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open.
Dan Forsman, the 2012 winner, was a stroke back. He made a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 14th and had seven birdies and a bogey.