Andrade, Armour III share lead in Champions’ return

Billy Andrade and Tommy Armour III both shot 6-under-par 66 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the $2 million Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Mich.

The event is the first for the PGA Tour Champions since early March, ending a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Armour, 60, was a late entry to the field, getting in only Tuesday when Brandt Jobe was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Armour was already onsite as the first alternate.

“I had a good feeling coming here that when I was the first alternate I would get in the tournament,” Armour said. “We’re all 50 years old and plus, and out of 81 players, somebody’s going to break down a little bit.”

Armour made seven birdies and a bogey at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.

Andrade played bogey-free golf in his bid for a fourth victory on the Champions circuit.

“I didn’t make any mistakes and kept it in play and putted very nicely,” Andrade said. “All of us I think are in the same boat. You don’t know coming … out of the gate how you’re going to play. I took a lot of time off and then started playing a little bit at home.”

Wes Short Jr., Tom Gillis and Germany’s Bernhard Langer fired 5-under 67s, leaving them tied for third place.

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