Former Tamworth professional, now based in Texas, Mark Hensby, sits in a tie for the lead after the opening round of the US Senior Open currently underway at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Pennsylvania.
A Presidents Cup representative for the Internationals and winner on both the PGA Tour and European tours, Hensby carded a four-under-par 67 to share the lead alongside champions tour legend, Jay Haas.
The pair hold a one-shot lead from a brace of golfers, Steve Stricker, Rocco Mediate, Paul Broadhurst and Tim Petrovic.
With constant rain hampering players in the morning half of the field, the leaders took advantage of the more receptive conditions with their late starting time.
While plenty of attention was given to Haas’ ( aged 68) remarkable effort in becoming only the fifth player to beat his age at the senior open, Hensby, who has just reached the qualifying age of 50 for the Champions Tour, was also a man on the move, blasting out of the gates with three birdies in his first four holes.
“I got off to a decent start, which always helps, especially in a tournament like this.
“There’s a few tee shots towards the end, but hit it far enough to where I could still get it on the green somewhat,” Hensby told USGA Media post-round.
Hensby admitted the late draw for his opening round was favourable, especially as the weather was far kinder as the afternoon wore on.
“Any time you have to put an umbrella up and clean and all that sort of stuff, so for sure we definitely had the better side of the weather.”
With conditions expected to improve over the next few days, Hesnby said he expected the course to bite back.
“It will probably firm up a bit. It was a lot softer today. Obviously, but if they go a little bit too fast, (it) could get out of hand, but right now it’s a tough golf course.”
Despite only having limited opportunities, Hensby said his game has been solid and he was looking forward to more opportunities.
“I finished seventh in Puerto Rico on the PGA TOUR earlier this year, and I finished top ten at the senior PGA. Yeah, I played a few tournaments, but not a whole lot.”