CALGARY, Alberta — Michael Bradley birdied his final two holes and tied the course record with a 9-under 61 in Friday’s opening round of the Shaw Charity Classic.
The 53-year-old Bradley had his finest round on the over-50 circuit with 10 birdies and a bogey at the par-70 Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club. He matched the low score posted by 2014 Shaw Charity Classic winner Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“I’m excited I shot 61,” Bradley said. “I didn’t even realize it, but I’ve played poorly the last few months and I haven’t had a lot of confidence.
“I’ve got no business shooting 61. I’m just being honest. I think 70 or 71 has been the lowest round I’ve had in a number of tournaments. Maybe I can catch lightning in a bottle and try to get some confidence back.”
Steve Flesch was one stroke off the lead after an opening 62.
“Getting off to a great start in the first round has kind of been my nemesis this year,” said Flesch, whose round included an eagle on the par-5, 11th hole.
“Obviously 8 under is a great score and it’s my low of the season (and of his PGA Tour Champions career), so I’m excited, but I’m not surprised because I’ve been playing better than my scores have been reflecting.”
Tom Byrum was alone in third after carding a 7-under 63, which included an eagle on the par-5, 18th hole.