Roberts 64 Paces Champions Event


Champions TourEAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Loren Roberts had his low round of the year, a 7-under-par 64 Friday, to take a one-stroke lead over Eduardo Romero after the first round of the Commerce Bank Championship.
A powerful thunderstorm passed right over the Red Course at Eisenhower Park on Thursday night, damaging a few trees and knocking down a scoreboard and a hospitality tent just behind the 18th green. Crews worked through the night, and Friday's round got off on time.
Roberts, who leads the Champions Tour in scoring average, won The Boeing Championship at Sandestin in early June. He then played one week on the PGA Tour before taking two weeks off.
He didn't get off to a quick start Friday, making the turn at 2 under, but he had five birdies in his last eight holes on the 7,021-yard course to better his yearly average by almost five strokes. Roberts, who is tied for the tour lead in putting average at 1.706, needed only 29 putts and reached all but one green in regulation.
Romero, who finished second to Roberts in the Boeing and lost to him in a playoff in last year's Senior British Open, had a solid day with his irons -- the longest of his six birdie putts coming from seven feet. Romero came off a three-week break in his native Argentina.
Lonnie Nielsen, who has one top 10 finish this season, was at 66.
Jay Haas, who won the last two weeks on tour and has four wins this year, was at 67 along with Brad Bryant, Morris Hatalsky, Des Smyth, Tom McKnight and defending champion John Harris.
Bruce Fleisher, a two-time winner of this tournament, was among 10 golfers at 68.
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