BLAINE, Minn. — Tuesday qualifier Marco Dawson shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to take the lead in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship, leaving Bernhard Langer a stroke back five days after the German star’s record-breaking victory in the Senior British Open.
Dawson, playing the back nine first at TPC Twin Cities, birdied three of his first four holes and chipped in for eagle on No. 18. After a birdie on the par-5 third hole, he birdied three of his final four holes.
Looking for his first tour victory, Dawson has three top-10 finishes in eight starts this year, including a tie for fifth three weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open. He tied for 39th in the Senior British Open.
Langer, the two-time 3M champion who won by a tour-record 13 strokes Sunday at Royal Porthcawl, was tied for second with Jeff Maggert, Rocco Mediate and Vijay Singh. Langer holed out from 155 yards out for an eagle on the par-4 14th and added birdies on Nos. 16 and 18. However, he birdied just one of the four par-5s.
Mediate, a part-time Minnesota resident, made a long eagle on the par-5 18th to cap a bogey-free round.
Kenny Perry opened with a 65, and Mike Goodes, Gary Hallberg, Gene Sauers and Bobby Wadkins shot 66. Paul Goydos had a 67 in his debut on the 50-and-over tour.
On a perfect day for golf with temperatures in the low 80s and little wind, 56 of 81 players broke par.
Maggert birdied four of six holes in one stretch on the front side, and birdied three of the final four.
An eagle on the par-5 third hole got Singh to 3 under. Playing in only his second Champions Tour event of the season, he bogeyed No. 4, but three straight birdies on the front got him to 5 under through eight.
Sixty-nine-year-old Hale Irwin, a three-time winner of the event, bettered his age with a 68.
Defending champion Tom Pernice Jr. had a 69.