Kevin Sutherland and Marco Dawson hope to end an early-season PGA Tour Champions trend.
The two share the lead after the first round of the Rapiscan Systems Classic in Biloxi, Miss. No player who has led or co-led after the opening round of the season’s first four events has gone on to win a Champions tournament this year.
Sutherland and Dawson each shot 7-under-par 65 at Fallen Oak Golf Club, giving them a three-shot edge over a quartet of players: Scott Parel, Jeff Sluman, Tom Byrum and Tommy Armour III.
Fred Couples, Kent Jones, Scott Hoch, Gibby Gilbert III and Fiji’s Vijay Singh are tied for seventh at 3 under.
Sutherland started effectively, with his front nine resulting in three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole. He made his lone bogey of the day on the par-3 17th hole.
The 54-year-old California native is looking for his second career Champions title, having won the 2017 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Dawson birdied five of his first seven holes, with a par and a bogey mixed in. He added three more birdies on a flawless back nine.
Dawson, 55, is a two-time Champions winner, but both of his victories came in 2015.
Defending champion Steve Stricker is tied for 45th after a 1-over-par 73 that included a double bogey on the par-3 eighth hole.
Mark Calcavecchia withdrew after his 13th hole because of a rib injury.
—Field Level Media