Ames shoots 66 to take lead in Mitsubishi Classic

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DULUTH, Ga. — Stephen Ames shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Classic.

The 57-year-old Ames had an opening bogey and seven birdies for a 1-stroke lead over Paul Goydos.

“I don’t think I had one highlight, I think I was very steady Eddie,” Ames said. “I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens to give myself a lot of opportunities.”

A naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad, the four-time PGA Tour champion won the 2017 tournament at TPC Sugarloaf for his lone senior title.

“I think a combination of everything,” Ames said. “Hitting the ball really nicely and been working on my putting, a couple things on my putting that came through today, which is nice.”

Goydos played the back nine in 5 under, closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th. The 56-year-old Goydos has five senior victories after winning twice on the PGA Tour.

Gene Sauers followed at 68, and John Huston and Billy Andrade shot 69.

Jim Furyk, 2019 winner Scott McCarron, 2014 champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and Kenny Perry were in the group at 70. McCarron also won two PGA Tour events at TPC Sugarloaf.

Alex Cejka shot 71. He won the Regions Tradition last week in a playoff for his first senior victory, beating Steve Stricker in a playoff.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz had a quadruple bogey on the par-4 17th and a double bogey on 18 in an 84. He was 79th among the 80 finishers.

Wes Short Jr. shot 85, making five straight double bogeys in the middle of the round.

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