SAN ANTONIO (AP) Wes Short Jr. birdied three of the last four holes Friday for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s San Antonio Championship.
The 51-year-old former University of Texas player had seven birdies and two bogeys on TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Canyons Course. He won the Quebec Championship last year for his lone victory on the 50-and-over tour and also won the PGA Tour’s 2005 Las Vegas event.
”It was nice to get off to a good start and have family and friends come out and watch,” said Short, who lives in Austin. ”It’s nice to play in front of them.”
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Paul Goydos, Jeff Sluman, Stephen Ames, Duffy Waldorf and Scott Dunlap were tied for second.
”The last 11 to 12 holes, the wind really started blowing,” Waldorf said. ”It made it a factor, because the greens are very fast. … I was just happy to get a few birdies and make pars where I could.”
Short birdied the par-5 15, saved par with a 10-footer on the par-3 16th, made a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th and closed with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.
”I hit it over the green on 16. I hit a chip shot about 10 feet by and I made it,” Short said. ”Then, it seemed like the hole got in the way on the last two holes. I think that was a key putt. … It’s pretty windy out there today. The greens are pretty fast, so it’s really hard to be aggressive on the greens, especially on the downhill putts. They can get away from you pretty easily.”
Short is 23rd on the money list with $636,989. The top 30 will qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Arizona.
Defending champion Michael Allen had a 69.
Fred Couples shot a 70. He won the 2011 event, shooting 62-62-66 for a seven-stroke victory.
Charles Schwab Cup leader Colin Montgomerie opened with a 71. He has a 39-point lead over Jeff Maggert with three events left in the season-long competition. Maggert had a 72. He has a tour-high four victories, winning majors in the Regions Tradition and U.S. Senior Open.