UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio - Vijay Singh rebounded from a bad shot on the 17th to birdie the final hole Thursday and take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Still playing full-time on the PGA Tour at age 53, the big Fijian shot a 4-under 66 on a hot and humid afternoon at Scioto Country Club in suburban Columbus.
Singh pushed his tee shot right and bogeyed the par-3 17th. On the par-4 18th, he hit his second shot to 4 feet. The three-time major champion hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens.
''I'm driving the ball well,'' said Singh, coming off a tie for 56th on Sunday in Connecticut in the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship. ''I'm hitting my irons good. Playing the regular tour, I've been playing pretty decent out there too. I came here (and) obviously expected to play well, and I just played well today.''
Singh finished second this year in the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National in June, but missed the cut at the British Open and the PGA Championship. He said the dry, hard course at Scioto was a tough test.
''It was really firm,'' Singh said. ''Couldn't stop even a sand wedge. Nothing was spinning. If you missed a green, it was very difficult to get up and down.''
The hot, dry conditions aren't supposed to last, with rain forecast Friday and Saturday.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jeff Gallagher, Michael Allen, Gene Sauers and Glen Day shot 68.
Defending champion Jeff Maggert had a 70. He won last year at Del Paso in California.
''The course is playing great, very difficult,'' Maggert said. ''Just every hole is demanding. You got to keep the ball on the fairway and pay attention to what you're doing around the greens, make sure you're giving yourself some opportunities to putt for birdies. Missing the greens here can really hurt you pretty bad too. It's a ball striker's course, and I'm hitting the ball well. So hopefully, the putter will cooperate over the next three days, and I can finish it off with a good tournament.''
John Daly also shot 70.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 73.