Brett Quigley fired a 7-under-par 65 to grab the first-round lead at the PGA Tour Champions’ Cologuard Classic on Friday in Tucson, Arizona.
Quigley is 1 shot ahead of John Huston, Kirk Triplett and Brian Cooper, who opened with rounds of 6-under 66 at Omni Tucson National.
Quigley, 53, made five of his eight birdies on the back nine, but in assessing his round he believed he’d played better on the front.
“I hit a lot of nice putts, just didn’t make much,” he said. “All of a sudden made a couple on the back, hit it close a couple times and all of a sudden it was 5 under on the back, so it was a little easier.”
Quigley never won on the PGA Tour. He broke through for one win on the PGA Tour Champions in Morocco in 2020, but hasn’t returned to the podium since.
Cooper, who once appeared on the Golf Channel reality show “The Big Break,” earned status on the PGA Tour Champions this season via Q-School.
“Obviously living in Arizona, I mean, this week — playing well this week would really mean a lot,” Cooper said. “I’m going to have family here, friends here. This week would really mean a lot.”
Cooper posted his lowest round in 34 rounds on the tour by making five birdies, one bogey and an eagle at the par-5 17th hole.
Triplett seeks his ninth career win on the PGA Tour Champions and Huston is vying for his third. Huston also put an eagle on his card at No. 17.
Germany’s Alex Cejka shot a 5-under 67 and is alone in fifth place. Tied for sixth at 4-under 68 are Marco Dawson, Ken Duke, David Toms, Jerry Kelly and Canadian Mike Weir.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain opened with a 2-under 70.