CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Joe Durant birdied the par-4 18th hole Friday for a 3-under 68 and a share of the Senior Open lead with Kohki Idoki.
The 52-year-old Durant birdied three of the first five holes on the back nine, the second two on the par-5 12th and 14th at Carnoustie Golf Links in 10-15 mph wind with some light rain.
''It is difficult, especially if you keep hitting your tee shots wayward,'' Durant said. ''But if you keep it in play and give yourself some opportunities, the greens are big, so you can hit some greens, but you have to have good pace on your long putts, too. It can be very difficult. We've been fortunate it has not blown real hard, but if the wind kicks up, this course is all you want.''
Durant teamed with Billy Andrade to win the 2015 Legends of Golf for his lone PGA Tour Champions title. The four-time PGA Tour winner has five top-10 finishes this season, including a runner-up finish to Bernhard Langer in the major Constellation Senior Players in June.
Idoki, the 54-year-old Japanese player who won the 2013 Senior PGA Championship, had a 67 to match Durant at 7-under 137. He rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 17th with a chip-in birdie on 18.
Olin Browne (66), Jesper Parnevik (68), Carlos Franco (69), Tom Byrum (69) and Peter Fowler (69) were a stroke back, Mark O'Meara (70) topped the group at 5 under, and Tom Lehman (67) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (70) were another stroke behind.
''Patience is important and you can't force the issue,'' Browne said. ''You just have to be smart. I don't know that it's patience as much as recognizing the situation and executing the appropriate shot. I'm going to try and hit the shot that I try and execute. I'm going to try and think clearly. That's the key to playing good golf, keeping the demons outside of the six inches between your ears.''
Parnevik won the Insperity Invitational in May in Texas for his first senior title.
''I'm overjoyed,'' Parnevik said after his bogey-free round. ''I haven't played much this summer. I've been in Sweden. Had a lot of fun with my family and friends. I hurt my back about a month ago. I felt so good in the gym, that I ended up working out with a couple of MMA fighters. That was a bad idea. My back was out for about three weeks. I didn't know what to expect.''
Defending champion Marco Dawson was 3 over after a 75. He won last year at Sunningdale.
First-round leader Woody Austin had a 74 to drop into a tie for 18th at 2 under. Langer (71) also was 2 under. The German star won the 2010 tournament at Carnoustie.