Birmingham, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Champions Tour major winners Jay Haas and Olin Browne each carded a 3-under 69 on Thursday to claim a share of the lead after the opening round of the Regions Tradition.
Haas and Browne were joined by Mark Calcavecchia and Chien Soon Lu atop the leaderboard at Shoal Creek Club.
Browne collected his lone Champions Tour win at the 2011 U.S. Senior Open Championship, while Haas won the Senior PGA Championship twice and also collected the title at the 2009 Senior Players Championship among his 16 wins on the senior circuit.
Steve Elkington, Willie Wood and Corey Pavin shot matching 2-under 70s to share fifth place. Fred Funk, Marco Dawson, Bill Glasson, John Cook, Scott Dunlap and John Riegger are tied for eighth at 1-under 71.
Defending champion David Frost was among 10 players tied for 14th at even-par 72.
Haas was the first of the leaders to take the course and started fast with birdies at the first and second. He later rolled in another birdie at the fifth to reach 3-under but gave that shot back with a bogey at the ninth.
He then raced to 5-under with three straight birdies from the 10th, but a bogey at the 13th halted his momentum and he also bogeyed the 16th to fall back to minus-3. He parred his final two holes to end there.
"I thought the course played pretty long, pretty difficult, for me anyway," said Haas. "My putting was good, I made a lot of nice putts. Missed a couple makeables, but overall I would say it was a good putting day."
Calcavecchia traded a birdie at the third with a bogey at the sixth to make the turn at even par.
He poured in back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th to move to 2-under, and claimed a share of the lead with another gain at the 14th before closing his round with four straight pars.
Lu was the next to head on to the course and birdied the third, seventh and eighth during an outward 33.
He fell back to 1-under with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 15, but he would get those shots back with birdies at the 16th and 18th to earn his share of the lead.
Browne recorded three birdies during his bogey-free round to also finish at 3- under.
"I imagine the course, it played long because of the rain. It was soft," Browne said. "I don't know how much it's going to be able to dry out, but if the high skies stay and the low humidity and things dry out a little bit, it will play a little faster, the greens will get firmer, it might be harder to get close to the pins."
NOTES: Browne shot his first round in the 60s at the Regions Tradition since the third round of the 2010 event ... Browne posted the lone bogey-free round of the day ... Calcavecchia has never gone on to win in his previous six times holding the first-round lead ... Haas won his Senior PGA Championships in 2006 and 2008 ... Lu has finished as runner-up twice at this tournament, in 2010 and 2012 ... Bernhard Langer carded a 2-over 74 during his first round, snapping his streak of 31 straight rounds of par or better.