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Bob Tway & Leonard Thompson share lead

Bob Tway and 63-year-old Leonard Thompson shot 5-under 67s on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

Tom Purtzer, David Peoples, Brad Bryant and David Eger opened with 68s at Fallen Oak. Mark O’Meara, coming off his first Champions Tour victory last week with Nick Price in the Legends of Golf team event, was two strokes back at 69 along with Eduardo Romero and Ted Schultz. Price had a 70.

Thompson, whose most recent of three Champions Tour titles came in 2001, has cut his tournament schedule, but has been playing almost every day at home in Florida at the demanding Sawgrass Country Club and TPC Sawgrass.

“It had something to do with it. Yes I do,” Thompson said. “You can’t find too many places that you go from one to the other that are as difficult as those two on a daily basis.”

The 51-year-old Tway birdied Nos. 12, 14 and 16 to match Thompson at 5 under.

Tway said staying out of trouble areas was the key to his score.

“If you can avoid the bunkers, that’s the starting point…because they’re awfully penal,” Tway said. “It was a challenging day because of the wind, but I was pleased with how everything went.”

Thompson bogeyed the second hole, then ran off four straight birdies. He also bogeyed No. 11, then birdied Nos. 13-15 and closed with three pars.

Bernhard Langer, a two-time winner this year, opened with a 72.

Jodie Mudd and Bobby Clampett made their Champions Tour debut. Clampett had a 72, and Mudd shot a 74.



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