England’s Mark James carded a bogey-free, two-under-par 68 to lie in third place after the opening round of the US Senior Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Kansas.

The former Ryder Cup Captain had consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh, his 15th and 16th, to finish the day one shot behind joint leaders Jay Haas and Dave Barr of America.

He shares third spot with fellow European Seniors Tour Member Graham Marsh of Australia, Japan’s Massy Kuramoto and D A Weibring of the United States.

James, who already has a Senior Major to his name after winning the Ford Senior Players’ Championship in 2004, was satisfied with his performance.

He said: “It wasn’t easy - there was enough wind to make it interesting. You are not too sure exactly how far the ball is going to go, so you have to be very careful. It was tough.”

Des Smyth of Ireland is back in 44th place after opening his campaign with a 73, while Bob Charles of New Zealand, twice a winner of The Senior British Open Championship, Ireland’s Mark McNulty and Pete Oakley of America, winner of the Senior British Open in 2004, all carded 75s to complete the European Seniors Tour contingent.


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