CARY, N.C. – Corey Pavin shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the SAS Championship.
“I obviously got off to a good start, played the front nine very well,” said Pavin, who birdied six holes on the front side. “I think I had 10 putts on the front nine … and I hit the ball well.”
Nick Price, Gary Hallberg, Kenny Perry and defending champion Russ Cochran were tied for second at the Champions Tour event held at the 7,137-yard Prestonwood Country Club.
Price, who won the Toshiba Classic in March, has struggled in the past two months. He said he finally noticed an unconscious change in his backswing that caused him to shorten his swing.
“This is, after literally six really poor tournaments, the thing that I worked the hardest on the last two years, I just neglected,” Price said. “It’s been very frustrating.
“But today was the best I’ve played since May, June, ball-striking-wise. All in all, it was an ‘A’ day for me, a really good day.”
Pavin said he also made a swing change this week after talking to (swing coach) Greg LaBelle, who made suggestions to Pavin after watching his swing via email.
“I worked on it the last couple of days, and I made some changes,” Pavin said. “I really felt a lot more comfortable on the golf course today than I have in a long time.
“I did some work on my putter as well, and that was better.”
J.L. Lewis, Peter Senior, Jeff Sluman and Rod Spittle all shot 67.
Tom Lehman, who leads the race for the Charles Schwab Cup and its $1 million payday, was among a group tied at 3-under. Lehman is trying to become the first golfer to ever win player of the year honors on the Nationwide, PGA and Champions tours.
Play was delayed in the afternoon for 2 hours, 14 minutes when a thunderstorm moved through the area.