JERICHO, N.Y., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Hale Irwin registered seven birdies over his final 12 holes and shot a 7-under-par 64 Friday to take a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Lightpath Long Island Classic.
The Senior Tour money leader, Irwin played a bogey-free round and assumed the lead with an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-3 18th hole.
Irwin, who has two wins this season and 34 in eight years on golf's elder circuit, matched his low round of the year and was one-stroke ahead of Gil Morgan.
"I made a slight change in my stance last week while I was in St. Louis," Irwin said. "I opened up my stance a little bit and probably had one of my better ball-striking rounds in a while. Now I've got a stiff back, but thank God for the warm weather."
With temperatures soaring into the 90s, there were 44 sub-par rounds fired Friday. Bob Gilder, however, had to settle for an even-par 71. Gilder has won the last two Senior Tour events in playoffs.
Irwin parred the first six holes, then started his run at the par-3 seventh, sinking a 12-foot birdie putt.
"I had a lot of opportunities today, especially on the first six holes," Irwin said. "Conditions were good for scoring today."