Bruce Summerhays birdied the last five holes to complete a 6-under-par 64 and take a two-stroke lead in the $1.1 million Kroger Senior Classic on Friday.
"Getting off to a good start is marvelous," Summerhays said. "You can't win the tournament on the first day, but this way you don't have to come back."Mike Hill, Graham Marsh and Jim Albus were at 66, and seven players shot 67.
"I didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep going," said Summerhays, who made the turn at even par because of two bogeys, then awoke with six birdies on the back nine.
"It was just a so-so round until the last five holes," he said. "You birdie those and it becomes a spectacular round."
Hill won the tournament in 1995. Playing in Summerhays' group Friday, he birdied the last two holes to pull into contention.
"We really had a lot of fun," Summerhays said. "Mike got me laughing. He kept me loose."
Summerhays took the first-round lead with a 64 last week at Indianapolis on the way to finishing second behind Hugh Baiocchi.
Baiocchi was among six players at 67 on the 6,639 Grizzly Course at the Golf Center at Kings Island, just north of Cincinnati.
Albus used a slightly different putting stroke to put himself in position to challenge Summerhays, but said he'd keep it a secret unless he produces a couple more rounds in the 60s.
"If I start crowing after one day, and tomorrow I shoot 86, I'll feel like a dumbbell," he said.
Nine players were at 68, four strokes off the lead. Defending champion Jay Sigel was among a group of eight at 69.
No one in the Kroger Senior's eight-year history has shot a 70 and won.
Sigel won last year with a record 18-under-par 195. Even if raw scores equal that this year, par scores will reflect a design change that made a par-4 out of the par-5 No. 9, reducing par to 70.
"The course is sort of benign," Summerhays said, not unkindly. "The greens are receptive."
Rain earlier this week and a light drizzle Friday morning softened the greens and let players shoot for the pin.
BC OPEN: Dave Barr no longer has perfect balance because of a bad back. On Friday, the 46-year-old Canadian was perfectly wonderful from tee to green and gained the second-round lead in the B.C. Open at Endicott, N.Y.
Barr, who has won just twice on the PGA Tour - the 1981 Quad Cities Open and 1987 Atlanta Classic - shot a 7-under-par 65 for a two-round total of 9-under 135. That was one shot better than first-round leader Chris DiMarco, who had a 70. Chris Perry also shot a 70 and was another stroke back in third.
Early-morning fog delayed play 90 minutes before evaporating into a cloudless mid-September day more like Palm Springs, Calif., than upstate New York. The late start forced tournament officials to suspend play at dusk with 22 players still on the course. They will finish their rounds beginning at 7:30 a.m. today.
Jim McGovern also moved into contention with a 65. McGovern, who opened with a 3-over 75 on Thursday, birdied three of his first four holes, then nailed an eagle-2 on the par-4 No. 9 from about 100 yards and finished at 140.
SOLHEIM CUP: Dottie Pepper hit Team USA's first shot and was the emotional leader the rest of the day, scoring two points as the Americans took a 51/2-21/2 lead over Team Europe after Friday's opening rounds of the Solheim Cup in Dublin, Ohio.
The United States, seeking its third straight team title, took three of four points in the morning foursome, or alternate-shot, matches, then came back to win 21/2 of a possible four points in the afternoon fourball, or best-ball, matches.
Pepper was the lynchpin, energized by the flag-waving crowd and continually hitting the big shots needed not just to win holes but to prevent the opposition from winning them. Three times during the afternoon match, she saved par and halved holes with long putts.