Anders Forsbrand, Bernhard Langer and Dick Mast are flying the flag for the European Senior Tour in America as the trio share the first round lead in the Greater Hickory Kia Classic on six under par.
Opening rounds of 64 in the Champions Tour event took the trio to the top of the leaderboard with Langer particularly pleased as he looks to make up ground on Kenny Perry in the Champions Tour's Charles Schwab Cup points race in his bid to win the points title after taking the money list title three times.
The two-time Masters champion birdied the final hole Friday.
"Every little bit helps," said Langer, who trails Kenny Perry by 609 points in the Charles Schwab Cup standings with three events remaining.
"I was leading the Schwab Cup last year, and Tom Lehman wound up winning. There are a lot of points available, so I'm trying to close the gap so that maybe I can win or have a good finish in the last tournament and maybe win the overall championship."
Langer, a two-time winner this season, and Forsbrand each had seven birdies and a bogey, while Mast had six birdies in a bogey-free round on the reconfigured Rock Barn Golf and Spa layout.
"I played well until the last three holes," said Forsbrand, who made the field for the event after tying for fifth last weekend at the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. "I missed two fairways on those last three holes, but I putted beautifully all day. It feels good to play like that."
Mast and Forsbrand played together, starting on the back nine.
"Anders was playing so beautiful, but I made a couple of birdies on the backside," Mast said. "He was in a groove and made it look easy, and that kind of carried me along."