Joey Sindelar shot an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club.
Tom Purtzer was a stroke back after a 65, and David Edwards was in third with a 5-under 67.
Rich Contreras, who works at Valencia Country Club and got a sponsor’s exemption into the field, received a nice ovation as he walked off the 18th green after completing his opening nine holes Friday.
Contreras, who started on No. 10, shot a 3-over 39 on the back nine.
Contreras was playing with MIchael Turner of Sherman Oaks, who had a 35 on the back.
Tom Lehman, the former Wood Ranch assistant pro, is eligible to join the Champions Tour after turning 50 last Saturday.
“Turning 50 is a milestone,” Lehman said in a news release provided by the tour. “As a golfer, I’ve always been competitive and always wanted to play my best. I’ve enjoyed my years on the PGA Tour, but at some point, I’ll know when it’s time to move on.
“The Champions Tour is something I look forward to with a lot of anticipation. There’s a great camaraderie on the Champions Tour, but it’s also very competitive. It’s a great situation to be in, and I really look forward to that.”
Olin Browne (Occidental) turns 50 on May 22 and Tom Pernice Jr. (UCLA) reaches that age on Sept. 5.
PGA Tour player Henrik Stenson hit a shot out of the mud in nothing but his white boxer briefs yesterday while playing in a group with Tiger Woods. Are you appalled? Did you think it was funny? Stenson explained that he didn’t want to get his clothes all muddy, but PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem would probably rather have had him send him a bill for the dry cleaning than look at him in his skivvies. Do you think Finchem will suspend Stenson? Someone finally found a way to divert the attention from Tiger.
Sylmar resident Rich Contreras is living his dream this week at Valencia Country Club. Contreras, 53, is the outside services manager at Valencia Country Club. He received a sponsor’s exemption and will make his pro debut in the AT&T Champions Classic. Contreras is one of the good guys, and he’ll be a fan favorite out there.