Jimenez beats heat, leads field on Champions

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MADISON, Wis. — Miguel Angel Jimenez had two eagles in a 7-under 65 in scorching and humid situations Friday to take the first-round lead within the PGA Tour Champions’ American Insurance coverage Championship.

“Scorching, sweat like a pig,” Jimenez stated.

Jimenez eagled the par-5 sixteenth and second holes and had 4 birdies and a bogey within the spherical that begin on the again 9 at College Ridge. The 57-year-old Spaniard has 10 victories on the 50-and-over tour after profitable 21 occasions on the European Tour.

“I have been taking part in very strong. I performed very, very strong all day,” Jimenez stated. “My placing was working additionally. That is what you want.”

Jimenez made a 9-footer on No. 16 and a 2-foot putt on No. 2 because the temperature rose into the low 90s. Late-afternoon play was delayed due to lightning.

Defending champion Jerry Kelly was second after a 67 in his hometown occasion. He eagled the second and had three birdies.

“I simply love taking part in in entrance of Wisconsin crowds,” Kelly stated. “I find it irresistible.”

Main champions Fred {Couples}, Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen have been at 68 with Colin Montgomerie, Ken Tanigawa and Wes Brief Jr.

“To be trustworthy with you, if we did this for an additional month or so, it would not be an issue, but it surely’s like our first event with humid and scorching warmth,” {Couples} stated. “It can whip you. No, I am not going to die. I imply, I hope not. However once more, it is the primary day. Final week, I performed in Des Moines. It was a bit heat, however nothing like this.”

Event host Steve Stricker opened with a 70. The U.S. Ryder Cup captain performed alongside {Couples} and Furyk within the first group off the primary tee.

“That is August climate in Wisconsin,” Stricker stated. “Like on 18 there with all of the stands round there, there is no breeze in anyway, so it was highly regarded at occasions.”

Charles Schwab Cup chief Bernhard Langer additionally shot 70.

Corridor of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, making his fifth tour begin of the yr on a sponsor exemption, opened with an 80. He was final among the many 80 finishers, a stroke forward of 71-year-old Andy North and 63-year-old Gary Hallberg.

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