French Lick, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - On a day that yielded just one under-par round, Massy Kuramoto carded a 1-under 71 in Thursday's first round and he leads the Senior PGA Championship by one shot.
Difficult weather conditions combined with a challenging golf course saw Kuramoto finish day one as the only player under par on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. Kuramoto has never won on the Champions Tour.
"I played a few Japanese courses, all Pete Dye courses," said Kuramoto. "A lot of up and down, tight greens. Typical Pete Dye golf course."
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie carded an even-par 72 and he is tied for second alongside Billy Andrade, Barry Lane, Jean Francois Remesy and Bart Bryant.
Fourteen players are tied for seventh at 1-over 73, including 2011 champion Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer, who won two major titles last season.
Kuramoto began his round on the back side and got off to a great start compared to many others. The 59-year-old from Japan drained birdies on two of his first three holes to get into red numbers early.
Three holes later, Kuramoto tripped to his first bogey at the par-4 15th and he closed the opening nine with a trio of pars from 16.
Making the turn at minus-1, Kuramoto got back to 2-under with a birdie at the par-4 first, but he gave that shot back two holes later with his second bogey at the third.
That was it for Kuramoto as he closed his round with six straight pars from No. 4. At the end of the day, minus-1 was enough for the first-round lead.
While Kuramoto was pleased with the way he played in round one, he was candid about what he thought his chances were the rest of the week.
"I don't have the confidence at all, so I don't think that I'm going to be able to keep the lead," he said.
Montgomerie had a rather routine 72. Beginning on the front nine, the defending champion made one bogey on eight and a birdie on 12 to go along with 16 pars.
"I think anybody would this morning, any of the early starters would have taken (even-par)," Montgomerie admitted. "In fact, any of the later starters would take it, too. The pin positions are most difficult out there. Most difficult to get to the holes."
Andrade had a little more to his scorecard as he made four birdies and four bogeys, as did Lane. Remesy and Bryant both traded three birdies for three bogeys in their rounds.
NOTES: Kuramoto has not played in a Champions Tour event since 2013. He played at the Senior British Open, where he finished tied for 61st ... Montgomerie is looking to become the first repeat champion here since Tom Watson did it in 2010-11 ... Jeff Maggert, who won the first major championship on the Champions Tour at last week's Regions Tradition, opened with a 4-over 76 and is tied for 44th.