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Gene Sauers takes lead in 1st round of Senior British Open with 67 at Royal Birkdale

Gene Sauers mastered a stiff breeze to shoot a 3-under 67 Thursday for a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior British Open.

Four players are at 68 at Royal Birkdale, among them 2010 British Senior Champion Bernhard Langer. The German is joined by South Africa's David Frost, Australia's Peter Senior and Frankie Minoza of the Philippines. Only 10 of the 144 players bettered par.

Sauers, a 50-year-old American, is 23rd on the Champions Tour money list.

At 69 are former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and fellow Americans Gary Hallberg, John Cook and Jeff Hart as well as Australia's Peter Fowler.

Defending champion Fred Couples and Mark O'Meara, who won the 1998 British Open at Birkdale, shot 74s. Colin Montgomerie, their playing partner and a senior rookie, was two strokes better.