Lee Trevino sank a 15-foot putt for bogey on the 18th hole yesterday, maintaining a one-stroke lead after the first round of the 11th U.S. Senior Open.
When the putt curled into the cup, Trevino crouched, saluted it with a closed, pumping fist and stalked off the Ridgewood Country Club course in Paramus, N.J., with his old familiar swagger.
Trevino, a five-time winner on the tour this year and looking for his first victory over Jack Nicklaus in the over-50 set, shot a five-under-par 67, one stroke better than Charles Coody, Walt Zembriski, Jim Dent, John Paul Cain and Ken Still.
"The one thing I proved today was that Lee Trevino can make some birdies on this golf course," he said. "I made eight. Not many people can stay up with you if you make eight birdies."
But it was the bogey that kept him from a six-man tie. "Making that bogey was more fun than all those birdies," said Trevino, who had a string of five birdies in a row.
Chick Evans, son of the Hall-of-Famer of the same name, and Babe Hiskey were at 69. Nicklaus, winner of two of three previous starts among the seniors and a heavy pretournament favorite, was four back at 71.
"I really wasn't very good," Nicklaus said. "I just hit too many shots I didn't like. I need to go to the range."
Defending champion Orville Moody and 60-year-old Arnold Palmer, who won this title nine years ago, shot 74s and Gary Player was at 75.
Trevino's birdie string began on No. 8 and was capped by an 18-foot putt on No. 12.
"I make five birdies in a row. I don't think I've ever done that before. Not in competition. Five birdies in a row I make, and some guy in the gallery says, 'Get hot, Lee.' Hey, what do I have to do?"
LPGA: Cathy Johnston tied Ray Floyd's course record with an opening-round eight-under-par 65, good for a two-stroke lead over Patti Rizzo in the du Maurier Classic, an LPGA major. Floyd set the mark at the 1981 Canadian PGA Championship.
Rizzo was at 67, and she broke Floyd's competitive record of 31 for the back nine with a 30. She began her round over the hilly, par-73 Westmount Golf and Country Club course in Kitchener, Ontario, on the 10th hole and shot par for the front nine.
PGA: Chris Perry shot seven birdies en route to a seven-under 63 and a one-stroke lead over Steve Jones after one round of the Greater Hartford Open in Cromwell.
Five players, including Jay Haas, shot 65 at the Tournament Players Club of Connecticut. Hubert Green and 10 others are at 66. Defending champion Paul Azinger shot 68.
Perry is the son of former major league pitcher Jim Perry.