SPRING, Texas (AP) – Tom Purtzer is beginning to like Augusta Pines.

After playing poorly at the course in previous years, Purtzer shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Administaff Small Business Classic with Jay Haas and Dick Mast.

“I told my brother, I’ve had trouble here and it wasn’t one of my favorite courses,” Purtzer said. “He said to go out and make it my favorite course. A couple more 65s and it could turn into my favorite, favorite course.”

Purtzer got off to a quick start and finished with his low round of the year. It also was Purtzer’s ninth straight sub-par round to begin a tournament.

“In golf, you have to have a bad memory,” Purtzer said. “It’s a matter of telling yourself what you did here two years ago doesn’t mean squat to this round. I had to get a different mind set.”

Bruce Lietzke and Dave Eichelberger opened with 67s.

on the Augusta Pines course, and Curtis Strange, Dana Quigley, Tom Jenkins and Brad Bryant had 68s. Jenkins won the rain-shortened SAS Championship tournament last week in North Carolina.

Haas had a bogey-free round.

“I really played well today,” Haas said. “I almost hit every fairway. I didn’t remember the greens being this sloppy.”

Still, Haas putted well, sinking birdie putts of 20 and 25 feet.

AP-ES-10-13-06 1951EDT


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