Menu

Golf

Three share lead in Illinois

Bernhard Langer posted a 5-under 67 on Friday to grab a share of the lead with the first round of the inaugural Encompass Championship suspended due to darkness.

Langer was joined atop a crowded leaderboard at North Shore Country Club by Duffy Waldorf and Craig Stadler.

David Frost and Jeff Sluman carded matching rounds of 4-under 68. They were joined in fourth place by Scott Hoch, Gary Hallberg, Sandy Lyle, Blaine McCallister and Jeff Hart.

Peter Senior and Mark Calcavecchia also stand at minus-4 and are through 16 and 14 holes respectively.

Corey Pavin and Mark McNulty are among 14 players one shot back at minus-3.

Langer birdied the first, then parred seven in a row from the second. He caught fire at the turn as his birdie at the ninth was his first of three in a row.

The tour's leading money winner birdied the 13th, but gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the 14th. Langer birdied the par-5 16th to get back to minus-5 and he parred the last two to end there.

"Played pretty steady, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and when I didn't, I got it up and down most of the time. Just no major hiccups, no penalty shots or any of that stuff," Langer explained. "Maybe could have made a putt or two more, but overall I'll take the round as it was."

Waldorf started on the back nine and carded his first birdie on the 11th. He converted a birdie chance at the 16th, then birdied the 18th and first to get within one of the lead.

The 50-year-old Waldorf, who has three straight top-6 finishes, grabbed the lead with birdies at the sixth and eighth. However, he bogeyed the ninth to slip back into a share of the lead.

Stadler, who hasn't won since the 2004 season, followed a birdie on the second with birdies at five and six. He moved to 4-under with a birdie at No. 9 then gained a piece of the lead with a birdie at the 11th. Stadler closed with seven consecutive pars.

"It was hard getting the short irons close. The greens got way softened up, you were spinning it with the short irons a lot, but it was wasn't as fast in the fairways," Stadler said. "The fairways are still perfect and greens were softer, they're holding long irons better. You had to be careful with your wedges, though."

Calcavecchia had five birdies in a 6-hole span from the sixth to jump into the lead at minus-6. However, he faltered to bogeys at 13 and 14 to drop out of the lead just before play was called for the day.

NOTES: The first round was suspended due to darkness with 23 players left on the course at 9:21 p.m. (ET) after a 3 1/2 weather delay earlier in the day ... The first round will resume Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and there will be a 30-minute delay to second round tee times ... Nick Price made his first start since August and opened with a 71. He took time off to recover from an elbow injury ... The first two rounds are being contested in a pro-am format.