Scottsdale (Arizona), Dec 7 (IANS): India's Jeev Milkha Singh carded a 5-under 66 for tied second place after the first round at the PGA Tour Champions Qualifying Tournament (Final Stage) at TPC Scottsdale on Tuesday.
Singh, who turned 50 last December, finished solo third at First Stage in Nevada to advance to the final stage. Another Indian, Jyoti Randhawa, carded a 72 for a share of 50th place. The top-five finishers after four rounds will earn their Champions cards.
"I shot 5-under so I'm pretty happy with the round," Singh said. "Coming into this week, you just try to do your best. You play for five spots, and you have to be aggressive, smart aggressive, plus you have to keep yourself in contention, too. I'm happy with the position I'm in."
In 1998, Singh became the first player from India to join the DP World Tour. He has won four times on the DP World Tour, six on the Asian Tour and four on the Japan Golf Tour. He also finished T9 at the 2008 PGA Championship.
Omar Uresti carded 7-under 64 to hold the first-round lead. Five Uresti, who has played in eight events on PGA Tour Champions since 2019, added eight birdies in the first round to take a two-stroke lead heading into the second round.
The veteran pro holds a spot in the record books with nine consecutive birdies in the third round of the Korn Ferry Tour's 1994 Shreveport Open -- a string that has yet to be surpassed in PGA TOUR-sanctioned competition.
He proceeded to win the event, en route to earning his first PGA TOUR card via Q-School that fall. Uresti, 54, made 385 career TOUR starts in addition to 210 Korn Ferry Tour appearances.
"To be able to get off to a good start early is a good feeling," Uresti said. "I was a little a perturbed after the second hole, but I was able to hold my frustration in and was able to get focused and get going."
Mark Walker -- who has previously gotten starts on PGA TOUR Champions -- ended his round with three birdies to position himself atop the leaderboard at T2 5-under. This is Walker's fourth appearance at Q-school; his best finish is T8 in 2019. Walker has successfully Monday qualified into 18 Champions Tour events over the past four years.
"I just wanted to get off to a good start and see if I could make some birdies and post a decent number just not shoot myself out on the first day," Walker said. "It feels really good. I need to stay focused and keep the putting going the way it has been and I should be just fine."
Alan McLean, Simon Griffiths, Kris Blanks and Ricardo Gonzalez are also T2 after each carding 5-under 66 on the par-71, 7,115 -yard layout.
At the end of four rounds, the top-5 finishers will be fully exempt into all open, full-field events for PGA Tour Champions in the 2023 season. In addition, players finishing sixth through 30th will be eligible to apply for PGA Tour Champions Associate Membership for the 2023 season, which will afford them the opportunity to enter 2023 PGA Tour Champions weekly event qualifiers.