Smith leads by 2 in Arizona

Tucson, AZ ( - Jerry Smith fired a 7-under 65 on Friday and he grabbed a 2-shot lead after the opening round of the Tucson Conquistadores Classic.

Smith is playing his third Champions Tour event of the season and sixth of his career. He has never won in 238 career starts on the Tour, PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

Colin Montgomerie, who won two majors last season, opened with a 5-under 67. He was joined in second place by David Frost, Marco Dawson and Steve Pate.

Bart Bryant, who lost to Lee Janzen in a playoff at the ACE Group Classic a month ago, shot 4-under 68. He shares sixth place on the Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort with Corey Pavin and Kirk Triplett.

Reigning Player of the Year Bernhard Langer headlines a group of 10 players at minus-3.

Smith played the back nine first on Friday and he opened with a birdie at the 10th. After a trio of pars, he birdied the 14th, but later gave that stroke back as he faltered to a bogey on No. 18, where he failed to save par from a greenside bunker.

Around the turn, Smith caught fire. He converted back-to-back birdie chances at two and three.

Smith birdied the sixth to move to 4-under. He followed that with a hole-in- one on the par-3 seventh.

That ace moved Smith into the lead at minus-6, and he wasn't finished. He also birdied the par-5 eighth from four feet out before a making par on No. 9 to end two clear of the field.

"I went to Europe and got my card over there last year and played the entire season. So that was nice to have that. I enjoyed really the heck out of it ... and that was a good lead in to Q School, where I finished third," said Smith.

"Things have gone as well as I really could have expected this year. It's not like I've been doing anything different or working harder or working out or anything special."

Montgomerie got off to a quick start with birdies on one and two. However, he followed with seven straight pars. The Scotsman birdied the 10th, but gave that right back as he tripped to a bogey on the 11th. Montgomerie soared into a share of second place thanks to three birdies in a 4-hole span from the 12th. He parred the last three holes to end there.

Dawson had four birdies on the front nine, while mixing two birdies and a bogey on the back nine.

Pate had a bogey free round with two birdies on the back nine and three more on the front side.

NOTES: Smith's best Champions Tour finish was a tie for 11th at the Allianz Championship earlier this year ... His hole-in-one was the first on the Champions Tour this season ... Smith's last first-round lead was in 2005 at the Tour's Virginia Beach Open.