Port St. Lucie, Fla. — Alvamar Country Club pro Randy Towner birdied three of the last four holes to fire a 71, five strokes off the lead shared by three players, in the first round of the Senior PGA Professional National Championship played Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the sun shone, and the thermometer read 92 degrees.
The four-day tournament is being played at two PGA Village courses, named Wanamaker and Dye. Towner played the Wanamaker course.
The 264-player field of PGA Professionals, who are at least 50 years old and qualified through one of the 41 PGA Sections, will be pared to 70 and ties after today’s rounds. The low 35 finishers will qualify for the 2010 Senior PGA Championship.
Defending champion Kirk Hanefield of Acton, Mass., shot a 72 on the Wanamaker, good for a tie for 80th.