DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Hale Irwin, the Senior PGA Tour's best player, and Graham Marsh, who has struggled all season, both shot 5-under-par 66 Friday to share the lead after the first round of the Allianz Championship.
Irwin sets the standard that all other members of the elder circuit try to match. He has won three times this season, including earlier this month at the 3M Championship. He tops the money list with $2,206,706.
Marsh has just one top-10 finish in 20 events this season, placing ninth in the Audi Senior Classic in February. He has won just once in the last five years, claiming the 1999 Tradition.
"At this point in the year, players have settled into the type of year they are going to have," Irwin said. "Not many change the way they've played to this point."
To further contrast the players, Irwin's round was his 14th straight below par. Marsh's round was his best of the season.
"It's nice to get away to a good start," Marsh said. "I'm probably playing a little better than I'm scoring lately."
Marsh could have had sole possession of the lead but bogeyed the par-4 18th after driving into a fairway bunker. Irwin played bogey-free, but both golfers felt they could have putted better.
"The greens are hard to read," said Marsh, who has the opening-round lead for the first time since the 1999 Senior Players Championship. "A few can play some tricks. I was trying to make certain I didn't overread the greens today."
"I played exceptionally well tee to green," Irwin said. "I left some putts out there. I never got the right pace. They look faster than they are."
Defending champion Jim Thorpe struggled to a par 71 at Glen Oaks Country Club.