NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 6 (UPI) --
Defending champion Bernhard Langer
played the final four holes in 4-under Friday to take the first-round lead at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif.
Langer, who defeated Jay Haas last year in a playoff that lasted seven holes, fired a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over Bob Gilder, Eduardo Romero and Jim Colbert.
Mark O'Meara and Denis Watson shared fifth place at 67 while Tom Watson was in a group at 68.
Langer began his final surge by holing an eagle putt from the front of the green at the par-5 15th. He hit his second shot to within six feet at the par-5 18th, but missed that putt and had to settle for a birdie.
"I struck the ball extremely well, drove it nicely, just missed a couple of short putts," said Langer, a two-time Masters champion. "I could have done a little better, but the main thing is I'm hitting the ball well."
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