Tom Byrum leads Champions playoff event at Sherwood

Associated Press

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tom Byrum birdied five of the last seven holes for a 6-under 66 and the first-round lead Friday in the PGA Tour Champions' Invesco QQQ Championship.

"Just got on a nice roll, made some nice putts and made some good shots and just capitalized on it," Byrum said. "It was just what you write up out there, 'Picture that shot, hit it and go knock it in.' It works out when you can do that.

The top 54 in the season standings qualified for the second of three playoff events, with 50 players making the trip to Sherwood Country Club. The top 36 at the end of the tournament will advance to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix on Nov. 8-11.

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The 58-year-old Byrum entered the week 46th in the standings. He's winless on the 50-and-over tour after winning once on the PGA Tour.

"I'm just trying to play the best I can every day. That will take care of itself," Byrum said. "I would love to give you more of the insider stuff but trying not to complicate it. If I play good, everything will take care of itself, so that's what I'm trying to do."

Scott Parel was a stroke back. He won the Boeing Classic in August for his first Champions title.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 68. The 61-year-old German star is the defending tournament champion and the points leader. He finished second behind Woody Austin last week in the playoff opener in Virginia after winning the regular-season finale in North Carolina.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the points race, matched playing partner Langer with a 68.

Jesper Parnevik, Michael Bradley and David McKenzie also shot 68. They are all outside the top 36, with Parnevik 39th, Bradley 48th and McKenzie 54th. Vijay Singh was at 69 with Colin Montgomerie, Bob Estes, Jeff Maggert and Glen Day.

Scott McCarron was a stroke back a 5 under after birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, but settled for par on the par-5 13th and dropped off the leaderboard with a quadruple bogey on the par-3 14th. Fourth in the standings, he finished with a 71. Playing partner Jerry Kelly, No. 3 in the standings, had a 75.

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