Endicott, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Olin Browne and John Cook opened Friday's first round with matching 7-under 65s and they share a 1-shot lead at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
Browne is looking for his second victory on the Champions Tour, while Cook, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, is seeking his 10th win on tour. Browne's last win came at the 2011 Senior Open Championship, while Cook last won at the 2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Defending champion Bart Bryant is one shot off the lead after his 6-under 66 at En-Joie Golf Course. He was joined there by Steve Lowery and David Frost.
This year's Senior Players Championship and Senior Open Championship winner Bernhard Langer, who has four wins and 14 top-10 finishes in 15 events this year, headlines 10 players tied for sixth at 5-under 67.
A total of 29 players are within three shots of the lead heading into Saturday's second round.
Browne had a relatively routine front nine, but he exploded on the back nine to surge into a tie for the lead.
After starting his day with two straight pars, Browne poured in his first birdie at No. 3. He added another gain at the par-5 fifth hole and finished up his front nine with four straight pars.
Browne made the turn with a par at 10 before rattling off three straight birdies from 11. Two pars at 14 and 15 preceded back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17, putting Browne in the lead at minus-7. He finished up his first round with a par at 18 to end there.
"I played really nice golf today," Browne said. "I hit a fair number of fairways and greens and I had a lot of good looks at birdies. And this course, the greens can be a little tricky, so I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in. I misread a few of them. All in all, though, to shoot 65 to open up, I've never really played that great here even though I really like the golf course, so it's a good start."
Cook started his first day on the right foot with a birdie at the par-4 first. Following two straight pars, Cook drained three straight birdies from the fourth before ending his front nine with three pars to make the turn at minus-4.
Like his front nine, Cook began his back nine with a birdie at No. 10. He tripped to his first bogey at 11, but Cook rebounded right away with another gain at the par-5 12th.
Cook coasted to four straight pars from 13 before ending with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18. With his strong finish, Cook joined Browne atop the leaderboard at 7-under.
Bryant made four straight birdies from No. 6 to end his front nine on a hot streak. He added two more birdies at 12 and 16 in his bogey-free round.
Frost also had a bogey-free day with six birdies, while Lowery made eight birdies in a 9-hole stretch from No. 2. He also tripped to a bogey at No. 4 to shoot a front nine 31. Lowery added birdies at 12 and 13 to go along with bogeys at 15 and 16 on his back nine.
NOTES: Bryant's last win came at this tournament last year ... Browne's best finish this year was a tie for second at the ACE Group Classic. He also tied for third at the Tradition ... Cook's best finish came at the Tradition, where he ended tied for sixth.