BLAINE, Minn. — Monday qualifier Glen Day shot a 7-under 65 in perfect conditions Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ 3M Championship.
“Yes, I have a little more motivation as a Monday qualifier,” Day said. “I didn’t play as well today as I did Monday. I had no expectations this week. I just wanted to get into the tournament.”
On Monday, he topped the five qualifiers with a 7-under 64 at nearby Victory Links.
On Friday playing in the first group off the first tee at TPC Twin Cities, the 50-year-old Day had four straight late birdies in his bogey-free round.
“I made some putts and avoided mistakes,” Day said. “The greens are great. I was first out and they were perfect. Think first group out is an advantage.”
Jeff Maggert and Rod Spittle shot 66, and two-time champion Bernhard Langer was at 67 along with Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Woody Austin, Kevin Sutherland, Carlos Franco, Scott Dunlap, Bart Bryant and Monday qualifier Jean-Francois Remesy.
Langer closed with a 20-foot eagle putt. He has broken par in all 22 of his rounds in the event.
Montgomerie had nine birdies and three bogeys.
“Nine birdies and three mistakes,” Montgomerie said. “We know this course isn’t one of the most difficult. The fairways are quite generous and the greens are super. You’ve got to holing putts. I was doing that today. We’ll see how it does the next two days.”
Day made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second and ran in a 10-footer on the par-5 third. He holed a 6-footer on par-4 11th and made four straight on Nos. 14-17, holing putts of 4, 25, 8 and 10 feet.
“There are a lot of birdie holes on the back nine,” Day said. “It’s a horse race out here, especially on this course.”
Day won the 1999 MCI Classic for his lone PGA Tour title. On the senior tour, he tied for sixth in Mississippi in April and last month in Endicott, New York.
Larry Nelson shot his age with a 68, the third time he was accomplished the feat. Nelson, a World Golf Hall of Famer, also bettered his age last year in the event with a second-round 66 at age 67.
John Daly opened with a 72, and two-time defending champion Kenny Perry and local favorite Tom Lehma shot 73. Lehman teamed with Arnold Palmer to design TPC Twin Cities.
Fred Funk withdrew after 12 holes because of a back injury.