Couples leads with opening 66

Fred Couples shot a 6-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Jeff Maggert, Kenny Perry, Jay Haas, Michael Allen and David Frost of South Africa after one round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak Golf Club in Biloxi, Miss.

Couples started on the 10th hole and made his only bogey of the day at No. 11 before reeling off four consecutive birdies and five in the next six holes en route to his 12th consecutive round in the 60s, one shy of the record set by Hale Irwin in 1999.

“I think it’s a continuation of liking this course,” said Couples, who captured the Toshiba Classic last week for his 10th Champions Tour victory. “That’s why I’m here. I like Fallen Oak and hope to play it for a long time.

“I played really well. I feel like I putt well on these greens, and I made some today, obviously, to shoot that score.”

The 50-year-old Maggert, a Champions Tour rookie who won three times on the PGA Tour including the 1999 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, had six birdies and two bogeys en route to his 68.

Perry, who has won five times since joining the senior circuit in 2011 after winning 14 times on the PGA Tour, had three birdies in a span of four holes through No. 16.

Haas, who has 16 victories on the Champions Tour, recorded five birdies and had his only bogey on the fifth hole.

Frost, a five-time winner on the circuit, had three bogeys on the front nine but posted four birdies on the back and seven in all.

Allen, out of San Mateo and Nevada Reno, who has become a star on the Champions Tour with six victories after never winning on the PGA Tour, birdied three of his last four holes.

Duffy Waldorf, from Northridge and UCLA, came in with a 59 to tie for seventh with John Riegger, Fred Funk, Roger Chapman, Tom Kite, Scott Dunlap and Anders Forsbrand of Sweden.

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