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Golf | Champions Tour

Russ Cochran © Gallo Images

Cochran leads SAS championship



Russ Cochran topped the SAS Championship leaderboard in Prestonwood, North Carolina, on Friday in his return from a back injury, hitting all hit all 18 greens in regulation and shooting a 6-under 66.

Cochran, the 2010 tournament winner, is making his first start since the US Senior Open in July.

"I came here hoping to finish the tournament really," Cochran said. "But I fell into a great mode and played a good, solid round. Maybe I need more time off, I don't know.

"Of course, when you're playing well, you feel like you could do it all the time," Cochran said. "But I've got to give myself a lot of room and be very, very patient and realise that I haven't been in the heat in a long time. I haven't played much less been in the heat. I'll be pretty calm (Saturday), I think."

Steve Pate, Andrew Magee, Fred Funk and Jay Don Blake were a stroke back. Funk, the Insperity Championship winner in May, missed a birdie putt on 18 by inches that would have given him a share of the lead.

"I had a really efficient front nine," said Funk, who made the turn with a 30. "I got everything out of that front nine. Obviously, shooting 5 under's great. I'm playing really good. I'm playing solid, close to playing really, really good, and it's more - it's fun just to play."

Magee extended his streak without a three-putt to 190 holes, the third-longest run on the Champions Tour this year.

Defending champion Kenny Perry and Bernard Langer topped a group at 68.

FIRST-ROUND SCORES

66 Russ Cochran 32-34

67 Andrew Magee 32-35, Steve Pate 33-34, Jay Don Blake 30-37, Fred Funk 30-37

68 Gene Sauers 34-34, Allen Doyle 35-33, Bernhard Langer 32-36, Gary Hallberg 33-35, Kenny Perry 32-36

69 Tom Jenkins 33-36, Wayne Levi 32-37, Jeff Sluman 35-34, Mark Wiebe 35-34, Ted Schulz 35-34, Loren Roberts 35-34, Mike Reid 34-35, Mark O'Meara 35-34, Willie Wood 34-35, Bob Niger 34-35

70 David Peoples 35-35, Bruce Fleisher 32-38, Chien Soon Lu 32-38, Tom Purtzer 34-36, Bill Glasson 32-38, Hale Irwin 35-35, Mark McNulty 34-36, Larry Mize 32-38, Craig Stadler 33-37

71 Tommy Armour III 34-37, Duffy Waldorf 36-35, Peter Jacobsen 34-37, Bob Tway 33-38, Michael Allen 35-36, David Frost 36-35, Mark Calcavecchia 33-38, John Huston 35-36, D.A. Weibring 35-36

72 John Harris 35-37, Jim Thorpe 34-38, Mike Hulbert 36-36, Neal Lancaster 35-37, Peter Senior 37-35, Scott Simpson 32-40, Brad Faxon 34-38, Kirk Triplett 35-37, John Cook 36-36, Roger Chapman 35-37, Dan Forsman 33-39, Larry Nelson 36-36, Rod Spittle 37-35, Gene Jones 36-36, Jim Rutledge 34-38

73 Chip Beck 37-36, Joel Edwards 35-38, Jim Gallagher, Jr 34-39, Tom Byrum 36-37, Steve Jones 33-40, Bobby Wadkins 36-37, Dana Quigley 35-38, David Eger 37-36, Olin Browne 33-40, Sandy Lyle 37-36, Mike Goodes 35-38

74 Fuzzy Zoeller 39-35, McCullough 38-36, Gil Morgan 37-37, Bob Gilder 34-40, Curtis Strange 37-37, Corey Pavin 36-38, Ben Bates 36-38, Jeff Freeman 37-37

75 Steve Lowery 38-37, Mark Brooks 36-39, Eduardo Romero 37-38, Dick Mast 38-37

76 Bobby Clampett 35-41, Rick Fehr 39-37

77 Stan Utley 36-41

78 Joe Daley 37-41

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