Larry Mize and Wayne Grady had eagle 3s to highlight rounds of six-under-par 66 and share the first-round lead with Steve Lowery in the Atlanta Golf Classic yesterday.
Mize, winless since capturing the 1987 Masters, chipped in from 35 feet for his eagle on the 548-yard 11th and Grady, winner of last year's Westchester Classic, rolled in a 25-foot putt on the 499-yard 18th.
Lowery, who lost his PGA Tour card when he finished 157th on the money list in 1988, went bogey-free, parring his last eight holes.
The trio had a two-shot lead over 10 others after an ideal day for scoring on the 7,018-yard Atlanta Country Club course in Marietta, Ga.
"I scored well, got a lot out of it," said Mize, a native Georgian who has three top-three finishes on the 1990 tour. "I'm very happy with it. Four birdies and the eagle on 11, my first one of the year."
Grady, who also had birdie putts of 25 and 40 feet, missed his shot at the lead alone when he bogeyed No. 9, his last hole of the day.
"I did not bad," the Australian said. "I just didn't hit it in trouble. If I missed a fairway, it was on the edge."
Lowery didn't expect to be where he was when the round ended.
"I haven't played very much this year because I haven't been exempt," he said. "I had to qualify to get in here. I guess it is a surprise to find me tied for the lead."
Lowery had played in only two tour events this year, tying for 31st in both the Honda Classic and at Hattiesburg, Miss.
Nick Price, who tied for second last week in the Colonial, and Scott Hoch, who lost the Masters in a playoff last year, headed the group at 68 that included Maryland's Fred Funk; Calvin Peete, Howard Twitty, Jim Thorpe, Mike Donald, Tommy Moore, Doug Tewell and Neal Lancaster.
Curtis Strange, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, was well back in the pack with a 73.
Larry Nelson, a two-time PGA champion, had a 70 and defending champion Scott Simpson was at 74.
LPGA: Nonwinner Lisa Walters birdied her last three holes to join six other players in a tie for the lead after the first round of the Corning Classic.
Walters, Judy Dickinson, Trish Johnson, Tammie Green, Diana Heinicke-Rauch, Cathy Johnston and Alice Ritzman shot three-under-par 68s on their first of four trips around Corning (N.Y.) Country Club.
Pat Bradley, Kris Monaghan, Marianne Morris and Robin Hood were one shot back.
Of the leaders, only Dickinson, the LPGA president, and Green have any prior tour victories.