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Stephen Ames takes early edge at Dick’s Open

Charles Schwab Cup money leader Stephen Ames fired an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the Dick’s Open on Friday in Endicott, N.Y.

The Canadian continued his strong season with Friday’s round, in which he birdied four of the final six holes at En-Joie Golf Club to earn a one-shot edge over Steve Allan of Australia. Rocco Mediate is in third at 6-under 66.

One of the keys to Ames’ round was birdieing all three par-5 holes on the front nine.

“Actually, I missed the fairway on the third (hole), I got it up and down from about 80 yards,” Ames said. “So, I mean, overall, just like I said, just playing golf. Capitalized on situations when they arose and putted nicely.”

Allan, who is seeking his first win on the PGA Tour Champions, was happy to play a course he was familiar with from his younger days. En-Joie hosted the B.C. Open on the PGA Tour from 1973-2005.

“It’s nice to come to a course I’m familiar with,” the 50-year-old Allan said. “I played here back in the day on PGA Tour, so I was looking forward to coming here. Course has matured a lot, it’s in great shape.”

Mediate, who birdied the par-3 17th to get to 6 under, said he was “ecstatic” to be playing healthy for the first time this year.

“You’ve got to drive it here and I picked a couple of the right holes to miss the fairway on, the par-5s, because I can’t reach them anyways,” Mediate said. “Hopefully, I fix that (Saturday).”

Ernie Els of South Africa is tied for fourth at 67 with Paul Stankowski and Germany’s Bernhard Langer. Els won the past two PGA Tour Champions events.

–Field Level Media

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