AKRON, Ohio — Steve Stricker topped the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship leaderboard at 5 under with a hole to play Thursday when the first round was suspended for the day because of lightning and rain.
Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open at Norte Dame, the former University of Illinois standout had a hole-in-one on the 184-yard, par-3 seventh at Firestone Country Club.
Play was suspended at 12:55 p.m., and called for the day at 5:05 p.m. after just over an inch of rain soaked the course. Stricker was in the middle of the 18th fairway, facing a 140-yard shot on the par-4 hole, when play was stopped. He was set to resume play at 7 a.m. Friday.
"Bummed that we didn't get to finish because that meant we could have slept in a little bit tomorrow, and then now we'll have to get out here just to hit that shot," Stricker said. "Hopefully, just one putt. And then we won't tee off until 1 p.m. Maybe go back and I don't know what we'll do — kill time, eat breakfast a few times or something. Yeah, it would have been nice to finish."
Stricker is seeking his third straight major victory on the PGA Tour Champions, a run that began with the Regions Tradition. He's playing the 50-and-over event instead of going for a fourth victory at the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.
"I wish they were different weeks so I could play them both, but I decided to come here," Stricker said. "I'm happy I'm here and I'm not second-guessing my decision at all."
Paul Goydos was second at 2 under after five holes.
Ken Duke shot a 1-under 69. John Daly (8 holes), Jay Haas (15 holes), Duffy Waldorf (12 holes), Wes Short (10 holes), Miguel Angel Jiménez (8 holes), Lee Janzen (5 holes), Corey Pavin (5 holes) and Bart Bryant (3 holes) also were 1 under.
Stricker used a 7-iron on the ace.
"We had a 6-iron out to start with and then some breeze came up a little bit and I knew the 6-iron was borderline, a little bit too much," Stricker said. "Then once that breeze, we felt that, we thought that 7-iron was going to be the right club. Came off good, it was just a little bit left of the hole and then it broke ... That's always something very unexpected. You don't expect that or see that very often."
Kuchar shares lead: Matt Kuchar shot an 8-under 63 to share the lead with three players in a low-scoring opening round at the Scottish Open in North Berwick, Scotland.
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, the highest-ranked players in the field, opened with 67s — a score only slightly better than the field average on a day when 118 players broke par at The Renaissance Club, which was softened by heavy early-morning rain.
Kuchar was joined atop the leaderboard by Romain Wattel, Nino Bertasio and Edoardo Molinari.
Duo pace Marathon Classic: Alena Sharp of Canada and Youngin Chun of South Korea shared the Marathon Classic lead at 7-under 64, a stroke ahead of Stacy Lewis and three others at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio.
The 38-year-old Sharp, winless on the LPGA Tour, had eight birdies and a bogey. Chun, 19, also seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, had a bogey-free round.
Lewis won the last of her 12 LPGA Tour titles in 2017. She was born in nearby Toledo and has an endorsement deal with Marathon Oil. She had seven birdies and a bogey.