March 30, 2019 / 12:21 AM / 23 days ago

Sutherland, Dawson lead Champions event in Mississippi

Kevin Sutherland and Marco Dawson hope to end an early-season PGA Tour Champions trend.

FILE PHOTO: Kevin Sutherland tees off on the first hole in third round play on Torrey Pines South course during the Farmers Insurance Open PGA golf tournament in San Diego, California January 29, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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

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