Endicott, N.Y. — Tom Gillis isn’t overly familiar with too many Champions Tour courses, but he knows En-Joie Golf Club — a former stop on the PGA Tour. In 2003, Gillis finished tied for 18th in the B.C. Open.
On Friday, he again was in a tournament at En-Joie, and he fired a 5-under 67 and was tied for sixth place after the first round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
He was three shots back of leader Doug Garwood, two back of Michael Bardley and Marco Dawson, and one back of Clark Dennis and Woody Austin. Also at 5 under was Bob Estes.
Gillis, the Lake Orion resident who turned 50 in July to become Champions Tour-eligible, shot a flawless round that featured five birdies and no bogeys. It’s the continuation of some fine play. Two weeks ago, in his Champions Tour debut, he tied for third and pocketed $115,000.
Garwood, meanwhile, birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64. The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes — the front nine — in 6-under 31.
“Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,” Garwood said. “I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,” Garwood said. “That’s always a good thing.”
He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.
“I haven’t been playing great this year, but I’ve been working hard on my game and things I’ve been working on are paying off,” he said. “My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don’t think about too far in advance because you really can’t control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It’s just about the tee shot on No. 1.”
Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68.
Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.
Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour’s 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.
At Greensboro, N.C., Brandt Snedeker followed his opening 11-under 59 with a 67 to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the Wyndham Championship.
A day after becoming the 10th player in PGA Tour history to break 60, Snedeker moved to 14-under 126 halfway through the final PGA Tour event before the playoffs.
D.A. Points shot a 64 to reach 12 under — one stroke ahead of C.T. Pan, who also had a 64. David Hearn, Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Harris English, Brett Stegmaier and Sergio Garcia were 9 under.
Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won this tournament in 2007 before it moved across town to the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club. He had the tour’s first 59 of the year during the first round.
Brian Stuard (Jackson/Oakland) was 2 under and missed the cut by a stroke, putting his standing in the FedEx Cup playoffs in jeopardy.
Sung Hyun Park shot a 9-under 63 for a share of the lead with Lizette Salas during the suspended second round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship at Indianapolis.
Salas, the first-round leader after a 62, had a 69 to match Park at 13 under at Brickyard Crossing. Danielle Kang and Nasa Hataoka were two shots back. Kang shot 68, and Haraoka 69.
The saturated greens became even softer following overnight and afternoon rain. The storms forced a suspension of nearly four hours, with nearly half the field unable to finish before dark. Angel Yin and Amy Yang were the top players unable to finish, tied at 10 under with each having eight holes to play.
England’s Paul Waring birdied four of the last seven holes for a 7-under 63 and a share of the Nordea Masters lead with Scotland’s Scott Jamison at Gothenburg, Sweden.
Jamison birdied the last three for a 65 to match Waring at 11-under 129 at Hills Golf Club.
South Africa’s Thomas Aiken was two strokes back after a 65. American Hunter Stewart (68) was 7 under along with Scotland’s Bradley Neil (66) and England’s Lee Slattery (69). Germany’s Martin Kaymer had his second straight 67 to top the group at 6 under.