Bernhard Langer fired a bogey-free 62 on Friday to share the lead with Tom Lehman and Gene Sauers after day one of the SAS Championship.
Langer finished his first round in North Carolina with 10 birdies, highlighted by nine over his final 10 holes at a rain-softened Prestonwood Country Club.
“Course was in phenomenal shape considering the rain we had yesterday,” Langer said.
“I had some pictures from 13 and 14 fairway, the creek down there. I didn’t think we were going to play on time today. It was obviously mud balls — that’s why we played preferred lies on the fairways, but the greens were great and the whole course presented itself pretty special.”
Langer made five-straight birdies on Nos. 9-13, and following a par on the 14th, he added four more on Nos. 15-18.
“It was pretty amazing to go 9 under on the last 10 holes,” Langer said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done that.”
Lehman was nearly as impressive, playing his final 10 holes to 8 under.
“The back nine, I think there was one lie where there was mud on the ball,” Lehman said. “I probably could have played it down the entire back nine and gotten away with it. It was quite an amazing thing considering all the moisture on the course.”
Sauers signed for a card with eight birdies and one eagle.
“I drove the ball great,” Sauers said. “I missed a couple fairways, but I drove the ball great, hit a lot of great iron shots close and I made the putts. That’s been my downfall for a long time, get them in there tight and I don’t make the putts. Today I made the putts.”
Jerry Kelly and Olin Browne were four back at 6-under 66, one clear of Kenny Perry, Scott Dunlap and David McKenzie who were T6 at 67.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie carded a 71.
TOP 5: ROUND ONE
1. Tom Lehman -10
1. Bernhard Langer -10
1. Gene Sauers -10
4. Olin Browne -6
4. Jerry Kelly -6
6. Scott Dunlap -5
6. Kenny Perry -5
6. David McKenzie -5
Credit: Associated Press