Bernhard Langer shot a 6-under-par 64 Thursday in Turnberry, Scotland, for a 1-stroke lead in his bid to add a second Senior British Open championship to the title he won at Carnoustie two years ago.
He picked up six birdies, reaching two par-5s in 2 before putting for birdies on the Alisa Course at Turnberry.
“I was very pleased with the way I played,” Langer said. “Played smart. Hit some good drives, good iron shots and sank a few putts. Maybe left a couple of putts out there as well.”
The Florida-based German lead Mark McNulty of Ireland, with Americans Tom Lehman and Michael Allen among those shooting 66.
Allen has enjoyed an impressive season on the Champions Tour, topping the money list with two wins this season.
“I played beautiful on the front nine, made a few mistakes in the middle then had a great finish,” said Allen, who eagled the par-5 17th and birdied the 18th. “Out here in a short-sleeved shirt in Scotland playing this wonderful course is as good as it gets.”
Lehman opened with a bogey at the first but made six birdies before dropping his only other shot with a bogey at the 16th.
Tom Watson, bidding for his fourth British Senior title and his second at Turnberry, was among a group at 69. Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia finished the day at 72.
“The course is there for the taking on such a beautiful day and Bernhard did that. He’s that good of a player and he’s in good form,” Watson said. “He and his caddie, Terry, really work out how the course should be played. That’s why he’s so successful.”
Scott Piercy shot an 8-under 62 in the first round of Canadian Open, taking advantage of perfect scoring conditions at rain-softened Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario. Piercy eagled the par-5 fourth and 17th holes and had five birdies and one bogey.
Greg Owen and William McGirt were a stroke back, and Robert Garrigus had a 64. Ernie Els, the British Open winner Sunday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, opened with a 72.
Jim Furyk, the winner in 2006 at Hamilton and 2007 at Angus Glen, shot a 70.
European PGA Tour
Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark shot a 4-under 68 to take a 3-stroke lead over Thomas Levet of France after a shortened second day of the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Most afternoon starters were still on their front nine when play was suspended for the day because of lightning. They will finish their round early today.
Olesen carded five birdies to end his second round at an overall 12-under 132. Levet had four birdies and two bogeys for a 70 and was 135 overall.
“I’ve been playing well for the past few months really, so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t win,” said Olesen.
Pablo Larrazabal, who opened with a 64 on Wednesday, bogeyed both the par-3 fifth and ninth holes. The Spaniard was 2 over for the round when play was stopped.
Richard Bland of England shot a 67 to trail Olesen by 4 strokes, while Will Besseling of the Netherlands, Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and Oscar Floren of Sweden were another stroke back.
Stacy Lewis of the United States made seven consecutive birdies and tied the Evian Masters record with a 9-under 63 in the opening round in Evian-Les-Bains, France. Her birdie flurry from holes 5-11, plus two more on 17 and 18, helped Lewis to a 2-shot lead over Hee Young Park of South Korea.
Lewis, a two-time winner this year, matched three-time champion Helen Alfredsson’s round of 63, set by the Swede in 2008. It marked Lewis’ career-low round.
Her previous low was 64, which she shot in the second and fourth rounds of the LPGA Classic in June. South Korea’s Ilhee Lee is 3 shots behind Lewis. Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe and Japan’s Mika Miyazato are 4 back.