May 23, 2015 / 12:43 AM / 4 years ago

Lehman leads Montgomerie, Henninger by one at Senior PGA

(Reuters) - Tom Lehman took advantage of some gentler conditions late in the day at the difficult French Lick Resort course to post a 67 and take a one-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Senior PGA Championship on Friday.

Lehman posted five birdies in the back nine after a challenging wind died down to reach four-under-par 140, one shot better than defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland (69) and American Brian Henninger (67) at French Lick, Indiana.

Another stroke back at 142 was Mexico’s Esteban Toledo (68), with first-round leader Massy Kuramoto of Japan three shots off the pace after posting an even-par 72 for 143.

Kuramoto, who won 30 tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour and who is the chairman of the PGA of Japan, was the only player to shoot under par in the opening round.

But after a sky-high scoring average of 77.69 in the first round, scores improved by more than a stroke on Friday.

Tied for sixth at 144 was Frenchman Jean Francois Remesy after his second successive 72.

“It was kind of a fun day,” said 1996 British Open winner Lehman. “It was windy to start but we played the last six holes with just a gentle breeze so that made the last few holes easier than it has been. It’s a pretty tricky golf course.”

Toledo, a former professional boxer, battled through.

“I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, and putted well,” said the Mexican, who followed his opening 74 with a 68. “This golf course is tough.”

Kuramoto clawed his way back after bogeys on three of his first four holes.

“Just not try too hard,” the 59-year-old Japanese said of his approach to the round. “Just stay calm. A few bogeys, okay. Sometimes birdies. Try to keep calm.”

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry

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