Colin Montgomerie enjoyed a strong start to his Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid title defence as the Scot carded a level par first round of 72 to finish the opening day just one shot off the lead set by Japan’s Massy Kuramoto.
Montgomerie shared second place with Englishman Barry Lane and Jean Francois Remesy, among others, after a steady round which included a bogey at the par four eighth hole and a birdie at the par five 12th hole.
The eight-time European Tour Number One is chasing a third senior Major title, having opened his account at this event twelve months before adding the US Senior Open trophy to his repertoire two months later, and Montgomerie was very happy to be right in the mix after day one at French Lick in Indiana.
“I’m rarely happy with a round of golf, ever,” he said. “Because it always could be better and should be better in someone’s opinion. But I’ve shot level par here today and I am very happy leaving. There’s nothing wrong with level around here, nothing at all.”
“Any of the early starters would have taken (even par). I said pre-tournament that four 72s will not be far away and it’s proving that right now.
“Every hole, at the end of the day, is going to play over par. So every hole where you chalk up a par, you are gaining on the field, and that’s what I was playing for.”
Kuramoto, meanwhile, signed for a one under par 71 which comprised three birdies and two bogeys to earn a one shot lead over the Pete Dye Course.
Remesy, whose back nine two birdies and three bogeys to add to his birdie at the sixth hole, reflected on how strange it was to be so happy with a 72 as he contends for a maiden Senior Tour title.
"Normally, I would be angry because I finished level par," said the two-time French Open winner, in his second season on the Senior Tour. "But I'm pleased to be here and pleased to be in contention.”
Bernhard Langer was a shot further back on one over par, as was two-time MCB Tour Championship winner David Frost.