Kettering, Ohio It took a round that made the U.S. Senior Open record books for Craig Stadler to hold off a leaderboard that included Greg Norman and Tom Watson.
Stadler's 7-under 64 on Thursday tied the first-round record and left him one shot in front of Tom Purtzer with seven others within another three shots.
"Starting out like today is wonderful," Stadler said. "I expected to have somewhat of a decent week this week. I don't think anybody expects to shoot 63 or 64."
Stadler birdied his first two holes at NCR Country Club and never let up, finishing with six birdies, an eagle and one bogey.
Purtzer, playing two groups behind Stadler, opened eagle-birdie in a 65.
Loren Roberts, playing in only his second seniors event, was alone in third at 66. Bruce Fleischer was at 67, followed by the five at 68 including Norman and Watson.
Stadler's 64 tied the mark set by Fleischer in 2000 and matched in 2002 at Caves Valley by R.W. Eaks.
Norman, also making his second seniors start, didn't have a bogey in his 68.
Watson, who won the Senior British Open, another major, in a playoff last week, averaged 290 yards on his two measured drives. He was pleased with his consistency.
"Sixty-eight is a pretty good start," Watson said. "I'm getting more familiar with the golf course day to day."
Norman and Watson were joined at 68 by Dick Mast, Wayne Levi and Bruce Summerhays.