Woody Austin and Kevin Sutherland are tied for the lead at the Boeing Classic after Friday's first round in Snoqualmie, Wash.
Austin set the pace with a 6-under 66 and Sutherland joined him at the end of the afternoon by birdieing two of his final three holes. Together, they led Stephen Ames of Canada (67) by one shot.
Austin, 59, matched his lowest round of the season, which has hardly been a memorable one. He has yet to post a single top-10 finish.
"I've always said, game's just about putting," Austin said. "I haven't played that great, but I've played decent lately, I just haven't made anything, and today I made a few."
He made seven birdies, to be precise, and only one bogey. It's left Austin in a prime position to vie for his first win on the PGA Tour Champions since 2018.
"That's what we're playing for. That's why I'm playing," Austin said. "Going through a horrendous year this year and just hoping that at the end of the year something would show up. Today was a good start."
Sutherland bogeyed his opening hole, the par-4 10th, but quickly erased that memory with a birdie at No. 12 and an eagle at the par-5 15th hole. He made four more birdies, including at the par-4 seventh and the par-5 eighth, to climb the ranks.
Sutherland last won at the Cologuard Classic in February 2021.
"The course is — it's not playing easy," Sutherland said. "The greens are firm and everything's kind of bouncing a little bit right now, so it's playing tough. I just took care of the par 5s, and the rest of the course I just kind of managed it pretty well."
Harrison Frazar and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez are tied for fourth at 4-under 68. Jimenez is the tournament's defending champion.
A massive tie at 3-under 69 includes Germany's Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh of Fiji, Steven Alker of New Zealand and South Korea's K.J. Choi. Fred Couples, a native of nearby Seattle, also opened with a 69.
—Field Level Media