Kite takes lead at US Senior Open

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 12, 2012
Tom Kite set a U.S. Senior Open record with a 28 on the front nine at Indianwood and finished a 5-under 65 on Thursday. Corey Pavin's sixth birdie on his 17th hole pulled him into a tie atop the leaderboard, but a penalty pushed him back to the pack after completing his first round. Pavin hit a chip after his ball moved back a fraction of an inch when he grounded his club on his 14th hole and that later cost him two strokes. ''Yeah, I agree,'' he said after watching slow-motion replays of the infraction with officials in a TV trailer. That setback put Bernhard Langer and Lance Ten Broeck in second place, one shot behind Kite. It pushed Pavin into a five-way tie for fourth with Fred Funk, Jeff Sluman, Tom Pernice Jr. and Mikael Hogberg at 3-under 67. ''Still a very good score,'' Pavin said. ''I just like the way I played. That's the important thing now. There's three more rounds and lots of time to make it up and lots of golf left.'' Kite, who matched the lowest nine-hole score of his career on the front nine, is confident his window to win on the Champions Tour hasn't closed. The 62-year-old Kite expects players like him to have success more than a decade into their career on the 50-and-over circuit because they're staying in shape and relentlessly working on their game. ''You probably haven't read, but 60 is the new 40,'' Kite said. Kite, whose season-best finish was a tie for second four months ago at the Toshiba Classic, hasn't won on the Champions Tour was in 2008. He put himself in a position to end the drought on the front nine with an eagle from 155 yards at the 424-yard, par-4 No. 4 with a blind shot over a hill. ''The gallery let me know it went in the hole,'' Kite said. ''So it must have run out nicely out of that semi-rough.'' Kite also had five birdies before making the turn, leaving playing partners Peter Jacobsen and Scott Simpson to marvel at his 7-under front nine. ''I felt like the Washington Generals playing against the Harlem Globetrotters out there,'' Jacobsen said. ''He didn't miss a shot on the front nine.'' Simpson said Kite played textbook golf to have his way with a course with tight fairways, thick rough and quick greens the USGA set up to be the hardest on the Champions Tour this year. ''I certainly didn't think there was a 28 out there,'' Simpson said. Jacobsen, though, saw a breakout round coming from Kite after giving him lessons of sorts with Olin Browne recently at Pebble Beach. ''We gave him a couple ideas, and they worked last week and they obviously were still working,'' Jacobsen said. ''We all know each other's games and each other's swings, so we can tell when something is a little off and help each other out.'' Kite had the best nine-hole score in a USGA championship. There were seven 29s, including three at the U.S. Open, most recently by Vijay Singh in 2003. Olin Browne had the previous U.S. Senior Open record, shooting a 29 on the back nine in the third round last year at Inverness. Kite scrambled to save pars on the back nine, especially when his drive at the 490-yard, par-4 12th -- perhaps the toughest hole on the course -- went left and into water. He recovered with a jaw-dropping approach from 209 yards that set him up with a 4-foot par-saving putt. ''That was probably the best shot I had all day,'' he said. Kite's worst swing cost him a relatively comfortable cushion, heading into the second round. His tee shot at the 195-yard, par-3 17th landed in ankle-high rough on a decline to the left of the green. His flop shot went about 2 feet, leading to a double bogey that turned his three-shot lead into a one-stroke edge at the time. ''This golf course is tough enough it will bite you,'' Kite said. ''Nobody's going to play 72 holes out here without having it jump up on a hole or two and kick `em in the rear, and it got me on 17. There are just some places that, if you miss it, you're going to pay the penalty.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker