Glen Day and Canada’s Stephen Ames shot rounds of 6-under-par 64 Thursday to take the first-round lead at The Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland.
Both co-leaders recorded an eagle, with Day’s coming at the par-5 18th to tie him with Ames as the first day of the major championship came to a close.
The pair leads by one shot over Kent Jones, Jerry Kelly, England’s Paul Broadhurst and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, who shot 5-under 65. A group of seven tied at 4-under 66 includes Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and South Africa’s Ernie Els.
Day, 56, won his lone PGA Tour title in 1999 and never made the cut at The Open Championship. While he has come close to a win on the PGA Tour Champions, a title in Scotland would be his first on the 50-and-older circuit.
Day posted six birdies and two bogeys Thursday, while Ames’ round was bogey-free. He was 1 under through nine holed before an eagle at the par-5 10th hole. He added three birdies down the stretch.
“No mistakes, a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and I gave myself a lot of opportunities which you need to do out here I guess,” said Ames, 58. I’m very happy the way the year’s been going and playing very nicely.”
Harrington and Els each shot under-par rounds on the first day of last week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews, but both missed the cut. Harrington, playing in his first Senior Open after turning 50 last August, had six birdies and two bogeys Thursday.
“I’m happy with the score,” Harrington said. “I putted well and my putter saved me most of the day.”
Germany’s Bernhard Langer, a four-time Senior Open winner, was tied for 14th after an opening 3-under 67. Steven Alker of New Zealand, who leads the Charles Schwab Cup money list and won his first major at the Senior PGA Championship, shot a 2-under 68.
Defending champion Stephen Dodd of Wales opened with a 1-under 69, in a large group that also included Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie.
–Field Level Media