NAPLES, Fla. – Miguel Angel Jimenez eagled the par-5 third hole and shot an 8-under 64 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic.
Jimenez birdied four of the first seven holes on TwinEagles’ Talon course. On his back nine, he bogeyed No. 1, eagled No. 3 and birdied Nos. 4, 7 and 8 – hitting to 2 1/2 feet on the seventh and 3 1/2 feet on the eighth.
“I did not play great, played solid,” Jimenez said.
The 54-year-old Spaniard successfully defended his Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic title last year for his fourth senior title. He won 21 times on the European Tour, the last in 2014. A year ago at TwinEagles, Jimenez was tied for the first-round lead after a 65 and ended up finishing second behind Fred Couples.
“This is a very nice golf course,” Jimenez said. “As long as you hit it good, you will make birdies, but if you no hit it good, you will not. Tough to make birdie some days, no?”
Gary Hallberg and David Frost were tied for second – with some help from their peers.
Hallberg birdied the last three and had nine birdies and two bogeys in his season debut. Playing on a sponsor exemption, he got some swing help from Lanny Wadkins on Thursday.
“Lanny’s a good pal and he’s a Wake Forest contemporary, if you will,” Hallberg said. “We went and hit a few balls at the back of the range and he pointed out something to me and I committed to doing what he said. You know what? It really, really paid off. I can’t tell you what it is.”
Frost had a 6-under 30 in the front nine, also making an eagle on No. 3. The South African is using a new putter made by former tour player Kenny Knox, a model he noticed an amateur partner using Monday in Jack Nicklaus’ pro-am.
“I called Kenny on Monday night, and I said, `Kenny, I need one of those putters, man.“’ Frost said. “So, he overnighted one to me and I got it on Thursday morning. I paid for it, and I putted with it today, putted beautifully. Thanks to Kenny, I rolled the ball beautifully.”
Scott McCarron, Kevin Sutherland, Lee Janzen, Jesper Parnevik and Glen Day shot 66.
John Daly was at 68 along with Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. Three-time champion Bernhard Langer had a 69.
Mark Calcavecchia, a two-stroke winner over Langer last week in Boca Raton, shot 73.
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