Jeff Overton tees off on the 14th hole Thursday during the first round of the Open. His 7-under-par 64 gave him a one-shot lead over Brian Harman in the PGA Tour's season opener. Patrick Tehan San Jose Mercury News

Overton gets off to a good start

Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 8C
Last Modified: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 - 4:28 pm

SAN MARTIN – Coming off his worst year, Jeff Overton opened the new PGA Tour season on a good note.

Once he finally made a putt Thursday in the opening round of the Open, Overton felt as if he couldn't miss. In the last 11 holes at CordeValle, he made three birdie putts over 25 feet and a 20-foot eagle putt when his gamble paid off on the par-5 ninth.

He finished with a tap-in birdie on the 18th for a 7-under-par 64 and a one-shot lead over Brian Harman.

"It really helps if you can get off to a good start," Overton said. "It would be great if we can continue this thing and keep it rolling."

Harman finished with back-to-back birdies from short range and had eight birdies on his round. Kyle Stanley shot 66.

Overton had a year in which just about everything went wrong. He didn't play in any of the majors for the first time since 2007. He was disqualified from Colonial when he thought he could use a training aid to practice putting when there was a delay at the turn. He opened with a 69 in the John Deere Classic and had to withdraw when he felt shooting pain in his right wrist.

The PGA Tour season is starting in October instead of January for the first time in history. The official season ends next September at the Tour Championship, although there will be a six-week break leading to the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Jan. 3-6.

Champions Tour in Cary, N.C. – Nick Faldo has no expectations for his first regular Champions Tour start today at the SAS Championship.

"I think that's really what I'm here to find out, how well could I play," Faldo said. "I think I'm here to entertain the gallery and entertain myself."

Faldo, a 56-year-old six-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Famer, has been in the broadcast booth since 2006. He said he decided to play a limited Champions Tour schedule when his competitive side came out at the British Open.

"But as you know, if you saw Muirfield, it was impossible," said Faldo, who missed the cut with rounds of 79 and 78.

Nine Hall of Famers are scheduled to tee off this weekend, including defending champion Bernhard Langer.

LPGA Tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – South Korea's Ilhee Lee shot a 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Brittany Lang after the opening round of the LPGA Malaysia.

• Amateur sensation Lydia Ko is turning pro and has asked the LPGA Tour to waive its minimum age requirement of 18. The 16-year-old from New Zealand already is a two-time winner on the tour – both wins at the Canadian Women's Open – and last year became the youngest winner in LPGA history.

Ryder Cup – NBC has locked up eight more Ryder Cups through 2030. The network and the PGA of America announced the deal Thursday. NBC has televised the Ryder Cup since 1991.

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