Savannah, GA – Brad Faxon and Jeff Sluman combined for a 10- under 62 on Friday, which gave them a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf.
Faxon and Sluman shared third place last year, while Sluman finished runner-up while paired with Craig Stadler in 2008 and 2009.
"Last year was our first year playing together, and I think we came off with the strategy of Jeff driving the ball first, and as you know he's a very good driver of the ball and he just puts it in play," Faxon said. "We did a good job today of getting both balls in play, and a lot of holes we had two putts for birdie."
Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer, a pair of former Ryder Cup captains, combined for a 9-under 63 and are alone in second place at The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa.
Tom Watson and Andy North, who teamed to win this title in 2008, posted an 8- under 64. They were joined in third place by Kirk Triplett and Stadler, along with Tom Kite and Gil Morgan. Stadler is a three-time runner-up, Kite took second in 2007 when it was a stroke-play tournament and Morgan paired with Hubert Green to take this title in 1999.
Sluman and Faxon parred the first three holes. Sluman reached the par-5 fourth in two and 2-putted for birdie. He followed with another birdie at the fifth from about 10 feet out.
Faxon, a eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, took over from there. He converted a birdie effort from off the green on No. 6 and followed with an 8-foot birdie putt at seven to make it four in a row.
They parred the next three holes. Faxon got up and down for birdie on the par-5 11th. At the next par-5, No. 13, Faxon made birdie from just over eight feet to move to 6-under.
Faxon followed with birdies on 14 and 15 as they grabbed the lead at minus-8. Faxon rolled in a 15-footer at the 17th, then Sluman got back on the board at the last. Sluman sank a 12-foot birdie effort on No. 18 to give them a 62.
"Both of us played well from tee to green. He made seven birdies in the middle of the round and I cleaned up ... at the last," stated Sluman, the 1988 PGA Champion and four-time winner on the Champions Tour. "Brad had it in close on 18, I'm sure had I missed the putt (his) was going in. But as Brad said, I think my biggest contribution was giving him a stress-free ability on all the tee shots and second shots because I was in play and on the green. That's really what you want to do."
Langer and Lehman, the 2009 champions, did their scoring in bunches. They drained three straight birdies from the second. After a pair of pars, the pair birdied three of the next five holes to jump to 6-under.
The duo, who have combined to win the last three Charles Schwab Cups, birdied the final three holes to get within one of the leaders.
NOTES: Defending champions Michael Allen and David Frost shot 5-under 67 and are tied for 21st with three other teams ... David Eger and Mark McNulty, the 2011 winners, carded a 6-under 66 and share 11th with nine other teams.