CONOVER, N.C. – Jay Haas and Joe Durant shot 8-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
The 60-year-old Haas, the 2005 and 2009 champion, had an eagle and seven birdies on the first 14 holes, dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th and closed with two pars. The former Wake Forest player won the last of his 16 Champions Tour titles in June 2012.
Durant had his best score since joining the 50-and-over tour in April. He rebounded from two early bogeys with eight birdies and an eagle on Rock Barn Golf and Spa’s Champions Course.
Roger Chapman and Scott Dunlap shot 65. Kirk Triplett, a two-time winner this season, was another stroke back along with Bill Glasson, Mike Goodes, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate.
Colin Montgomerie opened with a 69. A two-time major winner this season, Montgomerie is second in the Charles Schwab Cup standings – 771 points behind Bernhard Langer with three events left.
Langer is skipping the tournament. He has a tour-high five victories, two of them majors.
Also opening with 69s were Canadians Stephen Ames and Rod Spittle.
Jim Rutledge was even after an opening-round 71.