Langer claims 4-stroke lead at First Tee Open
Pebble Beach, CA (Sports Network) - Bernhard Langer tied the tournament record with a 9-under 63 on Friday to grab the early lead at the First Tee Open.
Langer, a two-time winner this season, recorded his round at Del Monte Golf Course.
"This is where I played my first Champions Tour event in 2007, but I had not played here since," said Langer. "This was just the fourth time I had played at Del Monte."
This event, in which players are paired with participants from the First Tee program for the first two rounds, is split between the Pebble Beach and Del Monte Golf Courses.
Defending champion Kirk Triplett also played his opening round at Del Monte and he highlights a group of players tied for second place at 5-under 67. Triplett is joined by Tom Lehman, Andrew Magee, Doug Garwood and Mark McNulty, who all played at Del Monte.
Fred Couples, Dan Forsman, Jerry Haas, Russ Cochran and Joey Sindelar each shot 4-under 68 at Del Monte to share seventh place.
Scott Hoch recorded the best score at Pebble Beach on Friday with a 2-under 70.
Langer started his sizzling round on the back nine with four straight birdies.
After parring his next three holes, he capped his outward 30 with back-to-back gains at the 17th and 18th before making it three birdies in a row at the first to move to 7-under.
He picked up another shot at the fourth, and later finished his bogey-free round with a birdie at the ninth to grab the clubhouse lead.
"I got off to a fantastic start today, with birdies on the first four holes," said Langer. "Conditions were very nice, although the wind picked up later in the round."
Lehman came the closest to challenging Langer's score when he recorded birdies on seven of his first 13 holes to pull within two of the lead.
But he would get no closer and back-to-back bogeys at the sixth and seventh dropped him four strokes off the pace. He parred his final two holes to finish at 5-under.
"I played really well and was really pleased with everything," Lehman said. "Even the two bogeys I made were a little just out of luck. I had good shot and a few just bounced over the greens."
Triplett and McNulty each had five birdies over their bogey-free rounds to grab a share of second place, while Magee and Garwood each countered a pair of bogeys with seven birdies to finish at 5-under.
NOTES: Langer tied Craig Stadler;'s second-round 63 in 2004 at Pebble Beach ... Langer's four-stroke lead is the largest 18-hole lead in a Champions Tour event since Nick Price led by five strokes at the 2011 Toshiba Classic ... Hale Irwin (2005) and Jeff Sluman (2009) are the only two first-round leaders/co-leaders to go on to win this event ... At the end of the second round, the top 23 juniors will then play the final round at Pebble Beach alongside their Champions Tour counterparts.
09/27 23:06:19 ET