LASALLE, Ontario, July 5 (UPI) -- Despite battling the flu, Tom Jenkins tied a course record with an 8-under-par 63 Friday and opened a two-shot lead over Ontario native Gar Hamilton after the first round of the Canada Senior Open.
Jenkins, who won this tournament in 2000, matched the course mark set by Jerry Pate, who won the 1976 Canadian Open at this venue with a final-round 63.
Two years ago, Jenkins came within 10 minutes of withdrawing from the Canada Senior Open when he also came down with the flu.
Hamilton posted the best score ever by a Canadian in this tournament, bettering the 66s by Nick Weslock and Peter Jackson in 1981.
One of seven Canadians in the field, Hamilton has had little success at the Essex Golf and Country Club. He tied for 50th last year and tied for 76th in the Canadian Open 26 years ago.
Seven players shared third place at 4-under 67, including Bobby Wadkins and Mark Pfeil, the only players in the 77-man field to complete bogey-free rounds.
Bill Kratzert carded a 3-under 69 in his first round on the Senior Tour. A four-time winner of the PGA Tour, Kratzert turned 50 on June 29 and received a sponsor's exemption into the tournament.