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CHAMP News: Host Jim Furyk tied for lead at Furyk & Friends

Jim Furyk shot a 5-under-par 67 to earn a share of the lead after the first round of his PGA Tour Champions stop, the Constellation Furyk & Friends, on Friday in Jacksonville, Fla.

Furyk joined Steve Flesch and Rob Labritz atop the leaderboard at Timuquana Country Club, one stroke better than Ken Tanigawa and Canada’s Mike Weir at 4-under 68.

Formerly a one-day charity exhibition, the Furyk & Friends was elevated to a regular Champions event last year. Furyk tied for fourth last year.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Furyk said. “A lot of support out there, a lot of folks just saying they’re having a good time. It’s good to see the community come out, actually really enjoy it. Got a lot of positive comments from the players and the caddies.”

Furyk made four birdies and his only bogey on the front nine before adding consecutive birdies at the par-5 13th and par-3 14th.

“I putted very well,” Furyk said. “I got off to a little bit of a rough start kind of off the tee, you know, not real good drives early on. In the middle of the round I actually hit the ball really solid, kind of felt like me of old a little bit and hit a bunch of fairways and greens and felt really good about my game.”

Flesch, who also carded six birdies and one bogey Friday, won last week’s Pure Insurance Championship. The last player on tour to win consecutive tournaments was Germany’s Bernhard Langer in 2017.

His success last week didn’t stop him from changing out the 3-wood and hybrid in his bag.

“Every club in my bag’s on waivers,” Flesch said. “Just because I won last week didn’t mean they were all performing well. I hit a couple good shots at the right time to get the win. … Doesn’t bother me, I’ll switch three days in a row. If I think that’s the way I’ve got to go, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Labritz, who holed seven birdies and two bogeys, is holding a share of the lead at a PGA Tour Champions event for the first time.

“I’m enthusiastic no matter what I shoot. I’ve learned being out here for six months that you take one shot at a time. I don’t get ahead of myself anymore, I don’t get behind myself, I don’t get down, don’t get up, just hit shots and have fun.

“If we can keep doing this, we’ll stay out here for a while, which is the plan.”

Notah Begay III made his debut on the 50-and-older circuit and opened with a 2-over 74.

–Field Level Media

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