-- Loren Roberts can still show the youngsters a thing or two.
The 49-year-old shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 Thursday, matching his best round of the year, and held on for the first-round lead at the Western Open. Former champion Robert Allenby is one stroke back after birdies on his last three holes, the only one to make a charge in the afternoon.
"I played real solid, tee to green," Roberts said. "I hit the ball extremely well as far as putting it where I wanted it and hit a lot of greens. I drove the ball in the fairway just about every hole. If you're going to make some putts, it equates to a low score."
Reigning British Open champion Ben Curtis leads a group three strokes back at 4-under 67. Defending champion Tiger Woods broke out a new, graphite driver with a larger club head, but it wasn't the answer for his sluggish game. He closed out a lackluster round with a bogey on the final hole, finishing at 1-under 70.
"I didn't play very well today," Woods said. "It's kind of how it's been. I get off to a great start, kind of lose it in the middle, then get it back. I just can't put it all together."
Roberts, on the other hand, had his whole game clicking.
Roberts was in contention for his first win in two years three weeks ago at the Buick Classic, leading after 54 holes. But the man called the "Boss of the Moss" for his brilliant putting touch had some rare struggles on the greens the final day, leading to a 78 that dropped him into a tie for 16th.
So he went home and worked on his putting, and the extra effort paid off Thursday.
"I didn't hit anything real close to the hole, but I was very good in the 12- to 15- to 18-foot range with the putter," he said. "I made several of those, including a couple for pars in probably that 10- to 12-foot range, which really kept the round going."