Endicott, NY – Kenny Perry fired a 7-under-par 65 on Friday to take a 1-stroke lead after the first round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
Perry is looking to secure his third win in his last four starts, which included back-to-back major victories and a tie for seventh at the 3M Championship.
"I putted beautifully at the U.S. Senior Open at Fox Chapel and I putted nicely in Minnesota a couple weeks ago. So my putting's kind of hung with me now for a couple months, which is usually very unusual for me. Normally it's here for one week and gone for the rest of the year," admitted Perry.
Brad Bryant and younger brother Bart Bryant both carded 6-under 66s to share second place with Joel Edwards. That group sits one stroke ahead of Jeff Freeman, Rick Fehr, Russ Cochran and Esteban Toledo, who all shot 67s at En- Joie Golf Course.
"At one point today I'm sure someone looked at the scoreboard and said, 'Man, that Bryant, he must be good, leading the tournament, went back out for 18 more,'" quipped Brad.
Perry, a 14-time Champions Tour winner, was still on the course when Edwards and the Bryant brothers wrapped up their opening rounds with a share of the clubhouse lead.
After carding a pair of birdies and seven pars during his outward nine, Perry heated up around the turn. He parred the 10th before tallying a birdie at the 11th and an eagle at the par-5 12th.
A par and a bogey followed, but Perry bounced back with consecutive birdies from the 15th to reach 6-under and catch the clubhouse leaders. After a par at the 17th, Perry closed his round in style, notching a birdie at the last to end the day with the lead.
"When things are going your way, things are going your way, so just a nice day," said Perry. "Nice start, just got to figure out a way to do that again the next two rounds, get in that rhythm."
The elder Bryant mixed seven birdies and a bogey at the par-3 fourth, while Bart went bogey-free with six birdies during his opening round.
Edwards, who is seeking his first Champions Tour win in his 27th start on the circuit, also went bogey-free at En-Joie Golf Course, closing with back-to- back birdies to grab a share of second.
NOTES: Perry won the Senior Players Championship in June and the U.S. Senior Open Championship in July ... Brad and Bart Bryant are one of only 12 winning brother combinations in PGA Tour history ... Defending champion Willie Wood is tied for 75th place after posting a 5-over 75.