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Nick Price leads with record round

Nick Price shot the lowest score in tournament history, a 9-under 63, on Friday to claim the first round lead at the Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic.

Price birdied the first four holes and five of the last seven to take a one-stroke lead over Tom Pernice Jr., with Hal Sutton and Bernhard Langer tied for third a shot further back.

Price spent more than an hour on the practice range Thursday night trying to find the swing that had eluded him last week at the Tradition, where he struggled to a 38th place finish.

He even took a club back to his hotel room hoping that his swing would finally click once again. Somewhere between leaving his hotel and reaching the first tee, he found it.

“Last week I don’t know what happened but I got out of sync,” Price said. “I got here and I didn’t play very well in the Pro-Am yesterday.”

Price and caddy Matt Minister worked out the kinks from the three-time major champion’s swing and it paid dividends Friday.

His putting also improved, rolling in birdies from 20 and 25 feet on the 6th and 13th, respectively, then capping the round with a 40-footer on the 17th.

“It was a really good day,” Price said. “All in all I putted beautifully today.”

Pernice Jr. surged to the top of the leaderboard early thanks to a pair of eagles at the par-5 15th and 1st holes. He added birdies at the par-5 18th and 8th holes to finish the round at 6 under for the day on the par-5s alone.

“I hit some good wedge shots into two of them and then the other one was a rescue that I hit in there and made the putt and capitalized on it,” Pernice Jr. said.

“The par-5s are gettable here if you drive the ball in the fairway and get a favorable wind on some of them you can take advantage of them.”

Langer hit a 3-wood to six feet from 220 yards out on his second shot on the par-5 8th. He made the putt for eagle to move him to 3 under. The German then added birdies at Nos. 14, 17 and 18 to stay three shots off the lead.

Hometown favorite Fred Couples shot a 68. Couples had chances to gain ground on the leaders, but had birdie putts from inside 15 feet at Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 just miss—preventing him from keeping pace with partners Price and Langer.

“I just need, like everybody else, to make a few putts tomorrow,” Couples said.

“I had plenty of chances, especially the first several holes, and I just didn’t make any.”

Defending champion Loren Roberts is tied with Couples and four others at 4 under.



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