Corey Pavin has been working with swing coach Butch Harmon for about a year, and the hard work is beginning to pay off.
Pavin matched his career low with an 8-under-par 62 yesterday to take a three-stroke lead at the inaugural Buick Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
What did he and Harmon work on?
"You name it," Pavin said. "I was swinging real upright, club face was wide open at the top. My hands were real close to my head at the top of my swing, so we tried to give myself more room with my irons."
The 62 was also a season low for Pavin, 44, and the best round in his 12 appearances at the tournament formerly called the Greater Hartford Open.
Pavin has contended in this event several times, especially in the mid-1990s when he finished with a second and third.
"Any time you get to a golf course you feel comfortable on, you just feel good that you might shoot a good score or things are going to come together," Pavin said. "And today was a day that everything seemed to come together."
Bob Burns and Matt Weibring were second at 5-under 65. Bunched together with 66s were Fred Funk, David Peoples, Jerry Kelly, Jason Dufner and Craig Bowden.
Pavin's round was one stroke off the tournament record of 61 held by three players -- two-time champ Phil Mickelson, Scott Verplank and Kirk Triplett.
Pavin took advantage of ideal scoring conditions in his morning round after heavy fog lifted and softened the greens at TPC at River Highlands. Pavin holed a 120-yard wedge shot on the 341-yard second hole for an eagle. His seven-birdie round included a 45-foot chip-in at No. 18 that brought a roar from the gallery.
* LPGA TOUR: Laura Diaz had a run of five straight birdies and was tied for the lead with Jill McGill and Hilary Lunke at 6-under-par 66 after the opening round of the Wachovia Classic in Kutztown, Pa.
Hee-Won Han, coming off a runner-up finish last week, birdied five of her first seven holes and got to 7 under before making bogey at Nos. 15 and 16 and dropping into a nine-way tie for fourth at 5 under 67.
Lorena Ochoa, who earned her first LPGA Tour victory in May and is third on the money list, and rookie Mikaela Parmlid, the 2003 NCAA individual champion out of Southern California, also had 67s.
* CHAMPIONS TOUR: Jose Maria Canizares birdied his last hole to complete a 5-under-par 67 and share the first-round lead with Bruce Summerhays and Vicente Fernandez at the Tradition in Aloha, Ore.
Fuzzy Zoeller was one shot back at the soggy Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in the fifth and final major of the season on the tour.
* EUROPEAN TOUR: Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen shot a 6-under-par 66 for the first-round lead at the BMW Open in Nord Eichenried, Germany.
Colin Montgomerie was a stroke behind and bolstered his chances of making the Ryder Cup team.