BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Rocco Mediate played the first 13 holes in 9 under and closed with five pars for 62 to match the Senior PGA Championship and Harbor Shore records Thursday.
Taking advantage of greens softened by overnight rain, Mediate matched the marks set by Kenny Perry in the 2012 final round.
"It wasn't wet, as far as soaking wet. A couple wet spots. But it was fine," Mediate said. "Greens were good. Soft. They received pretty good. … I know it rained like heck last night. I heard it. But the golf course was fine."
The 53-year-old capped a front-nine 29 with eagle on the par-5 ninth and added birdies on the par-3 11th and 13th holes at Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores.
"Solid stuff," Mediate said. "A lot of fairways. A bunch of greens. When I missed, it was in the right spot. … I hit it close, so I had a lot of short putts for birdie. I didn't really make a long one. It was one of those days."
Mediate has two victories on the 50-and-over tour after winning six times on the PGA Tour.
"Stuff I'm working on is coming around," Mediate said. "I'm just trying to get back to what I used to do and that's hit the ball in the middle of the face most of the time. It's been a few years since that's happened. So it was a lot of fun. A lot of fun."
Gene Sauers had a bogey-free 63.
Mike Goodes shot 64, and Perry, Kirk Triplett and club pro John DalCorobbo were another stroke back. Perry played alongside Mediate and two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie, who had two late bogeys in a 67. "We were all feeding off each another," Perry said. "Rocco shot 29 on the front nine and drug us all along in there.
Bernhard Langer, fresh off the 100th victory of his career — at a major, no less, at the Regions Tradition in Alabama, opened with 69. The 58-year-old German is going for an unprecedented sweep of all five Champions majors. In Alabama, he won his sixth major championship as a senior and joined Nicklaus as the only players to win four different senior majors. Nicklaus had largely retired when the Senior British Open was added to the major rotation. He only played that once in its first year as a major in 2003.
PGA: Bryce Molder birdied six of his last nine holes for 6-under 64 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Molder was in the first group of the day off the 10th tee and was on the 16th green when play was stopped for 75 minutes because of rain and lightning. He completed his seventh of nine consecutive pars when play resumed, then had all of those birdies on the front nine. Patrick Reed, Anirban Lahiri and Webb Simpson shot 65. Colonial member Ryan Palmer was among four player tied for fifth at 66. Jordan Spieth, the world's No. 2 ranked player, had 67.
LPGA: Christina Kim took advantage of favorable conditions, shooting 8-under 64 for the first-round lead in the inaugural Volvik Championship at Ann Arbor, Mich. Ariya Jutanugarn, coming off consecutive wins on tour, was a shot back. Minjee Lee, So Yeon Ryu and Marina Alex shot 68, putting them four behind Kim.