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Billy Andrade, Stephen Ames, shoots 65s for first round at US Senior Open

OMAHA, Neb. – Billy Andrade and Stephen Ames shot 5 under 65s on Thursday to share the first round of the U.S. Senior Open.

Andrade had five birdies and no boogies on an Omaha Country Club track that dried up after the sun broke through and the wind picked up in the afternoon. Ames had seven birdies and two boogies in the morning session.

Wes Short Jr. shot 66. Alex Cejka, looking for his third win in a senior major this year, and Robert Karlsson at 67 followed.

Andrade, who started on the tenth hole, drew with Ames with a birdie on the sixth par-5. He came up-and-down from a green bunker to save the par on the eighth par-4. He just missed a 20-foot downhill birdie putt on the ninth par-4.

Andrade’s best finish this season is tied for fifth place, and he has just one top-10 in 22 events. Two weeks ago, he had his worst tournament since 2014, with 18 finishes and a draw for 63rd place in the Senior Players Championship at Firestone. He has been unbeaten since 2015.

Ames scored 11 of 13 clearings and 16 greens in regulation on the track of 6,891 gardens set in the rolling hills on the north side of the city. He fumbled five of seven holes in the middle of the round before hitting short birdies at no. 12 and 13 missed.

Ames has a 15-foot birdie for birdie on the par-4 no. 14 made and a 6-iron to 4 inches on the downhill, 223-yard par-3 no. 15 beaten. Trinidad sat on the par-4 17th of 8 feet for thug and came in at 32.

Short has five top-10 finishes at the PGA Tour this year and is looking for his first win in a senior major. He was consistent throughout his entire round, making four birdies and mostly avoiding the thick rough.

Jay Haas, at 67 the oldest player in the field, shot 69.

The field contains 16 players who won a total of 26 majors before joining the senior tour. Among those playing in the Senior Open for the first time are Mike Weir (70), Jim Furyk (72), Ernie Els (73), Rich Beem (73) and Jose Maria Olazabal (77).

Bernard Langer, who won a record of 11 senior majors, shot 71.

Steve Stricker, the 2019 champion, does not play in Omaha. He’s at the John Deere Classic on the regular PGA Tour this week. There was no US Senior Open last year due to the pandemic.

Kenny Perry, which won the Senior Open here in 2013, opened with a 71. The 60-year-old Perry, who also won the Senior Open in 2017, has only two top-10 finishes in 22 events this season.

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