SEASIDE, Calif. (AP) James Mason shot a 3-under 69 for a share of the lead with Chris Starkjohann on Friday in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship
The 64-year-old Mason is a PGA Life Member from Dillard, Georgia, who finished second last season. He holed out from 60 yards for eagle on the par-5 12th hole at Black Horse.
The top 35 finishers will earn spots in the Senior PGA Championship in May at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The final two rounds will played on the Bayonet Course.
''Today was a bit more windy and I got off to a semi-shaky start,'' Mason said. ''I got turned around on the 12th hole by holing out for eagle. That turned me all around. I played well, hit the ball well, and the key to this golf course is hitting it in the fairway. You have to drive it well and get the ball on the right quadrant on the greens.''
The 59-year-old Starkjohann, from Oceanside, California, had a 70 at Black Horse to match Mason at 7-under 137.
''The greens were hard to get the speed,'' Starkjohann said. ''I am a grinder. I don't give up. ... My emotions were so up and down, because I was frustrated I was three-putting. I had a hard time with the consistency of the greens today.''
Rick Morton of Jacksonville, North Carolina, was a stroke back after a 70 at Black Horse.