Brendan McGovern opened with a seven-over 78 as Barry Lane carded a five-under 66 to share the first round lead at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Michigan.
The Headfort Golf Club professional bounced back from bogeys at the 12th and 14th — his third and fifth — with birdies at the par-five 15th and par-three 17th to go out in level par at Harbor Shores Golf Club.
But after starting for home with three straight pars, he doubled bogeyed the fourth, fifth and sixth and dropped another shot at his final hole to end the day tied for 143rd.
Former Ryder Cup player Lane, a six-time winner on the Staysure Tour with five European Tour wins on his resumé, turned in four under and after a bogey at the first, his 10th, picked up two more shots coming home.
“I practised really hard every day on the putting and wasn't really much better until yesterday afternoon when Camilla said, it looks like you're strangling a snake," Lane said. "So I just gripped it a little bit lighter and it just freed me up."
He added: "I don't think you're ever going to figure out a secret around here. You know where the flags are so you know where your areas are to try and hit it and you can use the slopes.
"But if you miss the slopes then it becomes very difficult. We were lucky with the weather, it was not windy, the ball was going a lot further so you had a few short irons in."
He shares the lead with Australia’s Peter Lonard, who finished third at last year’s Senior Open Presented by Rolex – Senior Major champion Scott McCarron, Tim Petrovic, Wes Short Jr., and PGA Club professional Stuart Smith.
Chris Williams, runner-up on the 2017 Staysure Tour Order of Merit, kept pace with Smith, who set the early clubhouse target, with a four under par first round – his lowest in seven appearances at the Senior PGA Championship.
Fellow former Order of Merit runner-up Magnus P Atlevi, who finished second to Paul Broadhurst on the money list in 2016, recovered from a three-over par start after six holes to finish his round three under par.
The Swede, a former Staysure Tour Rookie of the Year, shares ninth place with 14 other golfers.
Simon Brown, Stephen Dodd, Colin Montgomerie, Jarmo Sandelin and Vijay Singh carded first rounds of 69, two under par.
Last year's winner, Bernhard Langer, decided to attend his son's graduation rather than defend. However, Miguel Angel Jiménez, who broke his Senior Major duck at last week's Regions Tradition, is tied 45th after a one-under 70.