Colin Montgomerie of Scotland posted a 6-under-par 65 to grab a one-stroke lead over Marco Dawson after the first round of the 35th U.S. Senior Open Championship at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.
Montgomerie, who captured his first major title of any kind in the Senior PGA Championship in May, collected eight birdies in hot, windy conditions.
“It’s a great golf course, one of the best in the country,” said Monty, who finished second five times in PGA Tour majors without winning. “It fit my eye the first time I went out there. We had a bit of wind at first, but then it died down and got even hotter. That’s not so good for a fair-haired Scot. I prefer the wind.
“You can’t win it the first day, you can only lose it, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going the next three days. I know it’s only going to get hotter.”
Dawson, a Champions Tour rookie whose only pro victory came in the 2002 LaSalle Bank Open on what is now the Web.com Tour, had seven birdies to overcome bogeys at the second and third holes in his round of 66.
Mark Brooks, who won the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla, made six birdies in a span of seven holes through No. 16 and was solo third with a 68.
Vijay Singh, playing in his first senior major, shot 69 and tied for fourth with Bernhard Langer of Germany, Kirk Triplett, Scott Dunlap and Gene Sauers.