I saw them (on TV) shooting the lights out there, so Im thinking, Hey, we used to do that, Langer said.
Langer had seven birdies on the back nine on his way to an 8-under 64 and a share of the lead with Brad Bryant on Friday in the Champions Tours season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Langer, the tours player and rookie of the year, was 1 over through six holes, then birdied nine of his last 12 holes in the first round.
I just got into the groove, he said.
After hitting out of the greenside bunker and sinking a 12-foot putt to save par on the par-4 sixth, Langer turned to his caddie and said, Weve got to stop the bleeding.
At that point on, they all went in, Langer said.
All seven of his birdie putts on the back nine were all within 10 feet. His round couldve been even better, but he missed a 15-footer for eagle on No. 7 and a 14-foot birdie try on No. 9.
The two-time Masters champion is coming off a three-win season when he was the lone player to break $2 million in earnings.
Both Langer and Bryant each had a bogey and nine birdies in their rounds.
You better be rolling your rock this week, Bryant said. We had a nice calm day. The greens are perfect. Its going to be a birdiefest if stays this way.
Hale Irwin, who turns 64 in June and is the second oldest player in the winners-only field, opened with a 65 to match Jeff Sluman and Jay Haas.
R.W. Eaks, who carded a rare double eagle, was at 66, along with Tom Kite. They were a stroke ahead of Jerry Pate and Andy Bean.
Bryant is coming off his first winless season in three season, but broke the $1 million mark for the third straight season with seven top-10 finishes.
He also led after the first day in 2007 with an opening 63. He finished tied for fifth in that event.
After birdieing four of six holes to make the turn at 32, Bryant birdied three of four holes to start the back side. He took the outright lead by holing a curling 21-foot left-to-right putt on the par-4 16th.
Langer, playing in the last group with Haas, hit a wedge from 110 yards to set up an 8-foot birdie on 18 to tie Bryant.
Irwin is trying to become the oldest winner in the tours 30-year history. Mike Fetchick won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational on his 63rd birthday.
With his son Steve carrying his bag, Irwin putted just 24 times in his round. He wants put a disappointing year behind him where he failed to finish in the top-10 for the first time in his illustrious career.
And theres no better place than Hawaii, where Irwin has won nine official events, including the PGA Tours 1981 Hawaiian Open and twice at Hualalai, where he is making his 14th straight appearance. The 45-time Champions Tour winner won here in 2007 and 1997.
Irwin got it going by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and chipped in from the fringe, about 25 feet away, on the par-3 17th.
Sluman, who missed the cut by a stroke last week on Oahu at the PGA Tours Sony Open, got off a torrid start with five birdies in the first seven holes.
Conditions were ideal at the scenic layout, which features forgiving fairways and immaculate greens. With only a gentle wind, the players attacked the pins.
Only three players shot over par at Hualalai, the tours easiest layout in the last six years with an average score below 70.
There is no strategy here, Bryant said. You go out and you try to birdie one so youre not one down. You try to birdie two, so youre not two down. Its the same thing every day.
Eaks turned in the shot of the day with a double eagle on the 551-yard seventh. After blasting a drive and catching a solid roll on the downhill fairway, Eaks holed his second shot using a 5-wood from 246 yards.
The albatross moved him to 5 under through seven holes. There were only two double eagles last year, compared to eight aces.
The 73-year-old Gary Player eagled the par-5 seventh and beat his age by three strokes. It was the fourth time in this event that the South African star has beaten his age.
The defenseless Hualalai was a welcome start to the season for everyone except Pete Oakley, who shot himself out of the tournament after just two holes by carding a disastrous 9 on the par-4 second where he got in trouble in the dried lava. Last year, he finished a shot out of last place.
Oakley was having such a difficult time on the hole, Irwin and Player played through.