PEBBLE BEACH (AP) — Paul Broadhurst shot a 6-under 66 at Pebble Beach on Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Nature Valley First Tee Open.
The 51-year-old Broadhurst won the Senior British Open at Carnoustie in July for his first victory on the 50-and-over tour. He won six times on the European Tour and played in the 1991 Ryder Cup.
With the seniors playing alongside boys and girls from The First Tee programs throughout the country, Broadhurst had 6-under 30 on the front nine in his first professional round at Pebble Beach.
“Actually, hit the flag on my second shot on the first,” Broadhurst said. “Could have gone in, I guess, but rolled 6 feet.”
He cooled off on the back nine, making two birdies and two bogeys.
“Front nine, I played really well, as good as I’ve played since winning the British to be honest. That’s been, you know, been a bit of a struggle since winning, so it was nice to hit some good shots today and put a good score on the board.”
U.S. Senior Open winner Gene Sauers , Craig Parry, Jay Don Blake, Kevin Sutherland and Tom Pernice Jr. were 4 under. Sauers, Parry and Blake shot 68 at Pebble Beach, and Sutherland and Pernice shot 67 at Poppy Hills.
“Sometimes playing late in the afternoon like this, that poa annua is tough to make those putts. ... It’s scary, it’s scaring me. But I played great, I hit the ball good. I hit my 3-wood good off the tee a few times and made some putts and I’m pleased to death where I am.”
Sutherland is from Sacramento.
“This is my version of a home game,” Sutherland said. “When I was a kid we played a lot of tournaments down here.”
Bernhard Langer opened with a 70 at Poppy Hills. The 59-year-old German star leads the tour with four victories this season.
Tom Watson, the runner-up last year who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am twice and his only U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 1982, had a 75 at Poppy Hills. The 67-year-old Hall of Famer had two double bogeys, a bogey and one birdie.
Defending champion Esteban Toledo had a 73 at Pebble Beach.
John Daly had two triple bogeys in a 74 at Pebble Beach. Fellow major champion Vijay Singh had a 75 at Pebble Beach, making three bogeys in a birdie-less round.
Broadhurst played alongside the First Tee’s Brandon Pozzie of Bradenton, Florida.
“Really nice guy, Brandon,” Broadburst said. “Really acquitted himself really well. Plays off a 3 handicap, hits the ball really nicely. Got a little bit unlucky, but around here it can eat you up a little bit, Pebble. Looking forward to tomorrow at Poppy and we’ll have another battle around there.”