BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Glen Day was 7 under through 16 holes to top the Regions Tradition leaderboard Thursday when bad weather halted the opening round of the first PGA Tour Champions major of the year.
After a two-tee start to try to beat the weather, lightning stopped play just after noon when Day was aiming for his second straight long birdie putt on Greystone’s Founders Course. Tour officials announced more than four hours later that the first round would resume early Friday.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and David Toms were two strokes back. Jimenez played 17 holes, and Toms finished 13.
Day made a third straight birdie on No. 16 and was lining up for a shot at another one when play was suspended.
Day predicted that ”the scores will go way low” before the tournament is over – weather permitting.
”Now, if we want to call the tournament right now, I’m all for it,” he said, laughing. ”I mean, we can call it now. But if we get in four rounds, there will be a lot of birdies made.
”Plus, with the weather that’s coming in, the golf course will be soft, the greens will be holding. They just firmed up a little bit and they’re going to be really good. I think the scores will go way low.”
Day is seeking his first win on the senior tour. His only PGA Tour victory came in 1999.
Jimenez, who started on the 10th hole, shot 37 on the first nine. He then had birdies on six of his next seven. He won his first senior major last year at the Regions Tradition, when he held or shared the lead after all four rounds.
Billy Andrade finished with a 4-under 68 after posting six birdies and a pair of bogeys. Two-time champion Bernhard Langer, winner of a record 10 senior major championships, was 3 under with one hole to play.