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NEW YEAR'S INVITATIONAL: A group of three shared the lead at 4-under 68 after one round of the 79th annual tournament at St. Petersburg Country Club. Brice Bailey, Mike Birkenfeld and Adam Scriminti led the field of 128 after Thursday's round, but 20 others were within three.

Adam Swope and Jeff Overton were one back, and there were eight at 70, including St. Petersburg's Kyle McCarthy. Luke List, who finished second at the 2004 U.S. Amateur and will play in this year's Masters, shot 71 and was three back.

In the seniors division, Don Lucas shot 72 and led Doug Root by one. The top 32 after today's round, which begins with an 11 a.m. shotgun start, will be in the championship flight and will tee off at noon on the weekend.

_ RODNEY PAGE, Times staff writer

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