Mike Slater, powerful 15-stone club professional from Warrington, carded a five under par 67 for a share of a one shot lead in the first round of the Philips PFA Seniors Classic at Meon Valley, Southampton. His score was later matched by Australians Ian Stanley and Terry Gale.
Slater also led last year's opening round with a 66 at the Southampton complex. Thoughts of a repeat slipped away temporarily whe he fired his opening tee shot
out of bounds for a double bogey seven. But the man known as Big Red at his Portal club suddenly found his putting touch to rattle in eight birdies before reaching the 16th tee.
He said: "I like this place. My putter does too, and I'm looking forward to a good finish this week."
Stanley, a senior rookie and former Martini International winner, eagled the opening hole and finished birdie birdie to grab his share of the lead. The trio are one ahead of Scots Gordon Macdonald and John McTear, Canada's Bill Hardwick former Spanish Ryder Cup player, Antonio Garrido and England's Brian Waites.
Professional footballers, past and present, are playing their own PFA championship alongside the seniors over the opening two rounds with their £50,000 prize money going to the PFA Benevolent fund.
Star turn on Saturday was West Ham mid-fielder John Moncur, a three handicap player, and defending champion who collected 40 Stableford points and
has thoughts of playing professionally when he quits football.1st Round Pros Scores1st Round Footballers Scores