Cook and Huston lead in Montreal

John Cook and John Huston both shot nine-under-par 63s to lead after the first round of the Montreal Championship.

John Cook and John Huston both shot nine-under-par 63s to lead after the first round of the Montreal Championship.

Playing in the Champions Tour’s only Canadian event, and on Canada day, Cook and Huston matched the course record at the Fontainebleau Golf Club course after each made ten birdies and one bogey in their round.

Cook is already a two-time winner on the Champions Tour this year, while Huston is only just coming off his first victory on the 50-and-over tour last week.

Cook came closest to actually braking the course record, but his 8-foot putt for birdie on 18 narrowly missed the hole.

“It broke a little more than I thought,” Cook said. “I thought that it was going to break pretty good to the left, but I didn’t think that it was going to swing quite that much and it swung across the hole. I hit it perfect speed so I hit a nice putt.”

Asked if he holds any other course records, Cook said that he couldn’t remember them all, but that he does “own a few”.

“They’re always good, especially at tournaments,” he said. “That’s what you like is to shoot or break course records in tournaments, that’s nice.”

Huston, who won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open last week in only his third Champions Tour start, managed to birdie his last five holes.

“Momentum is everything in golf and it’s definitely a great feeling to win last week and come out here and get off to a good start,” said Huston.

Two strokes behind the leaders after rounds of 65 were as many as seven players – defending champion Larry Mize, Joey Sindelar, Tommy Armour III, Jeff Sluman, Jay Haas, Dan Forsman and Lu Chien-soon.

“You can’t get too far behind on the first day or you’ll have problems,” Sindelar said. “Red numbers here isn’t even enough.”

Fulton Allem, R.W. Eaks, Vicente Fernandez, Corey Pavin and Hal Sutton all shot 66s to lie three shots adrift.

A total of 69 players managed to break par on the first day, matching a Tour record set at the Greater Hickory Classic a few weeks ago, as the course proved very receptive to low scoring.

“Today was a perfect day,” said Cook, second behind Mize last year. “I mean there was barely any wind, the greens were soft, they were beautiful speed. It was really ripe for some good scoring and there was some good scoring out there.”