In the final event on the Champions Tour this year, Thorpe and Romero owned a two-shot lead over Mark James and a three-shot advantage over D.A. Weibring. Leading money winner Jay Haas was in a group at 68.
Even though he bogeyed the par-4 15th hole, Thorpe shot a 30 on the back nine of the Sonoma Golf Club course. He has not won on the Champions Tour this year and earned the 30th and final spot in the elite field.
Romero is also seeking his first victory on the circuit this year, having finished second on two occasions. He had a fourth-place finish at the Senior British Open.
All but nine of the 30 players in the event broke par in the first round.