BLAINE, Minnesota (AP) — Mark Wiebe followed his Senior British Open playoff victory with an 8-under 64 on Friday in the 3M Championship to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin.
Four days after beating Bernhard Langer on the fifth extra hole in a Monday finish at Royal Birkdale, Wiebe had eight birdies in a bogey-free first round at TPC Twin Cities.
Running on adrenaline after the long week in England was compounded by travel issues that prevented him from getting to Minnesota until Wednesday, Wiebe made a 35-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole and a birdie from the off the fringe on No. 7. After those putts, playing partners Nick Price and Jay Haas told Wiebe to "Keep riding that pony."
Wiebe, slowed by right elbow and back ailments earlier this year, birdied five of the last seven holes on the front nine and added birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 16.
Perry is making his first since winning the Senior Players Championship and U. S. Senior Open in consecutive starts for his first major victories. He skipped the Senior British Open because of a family commitment.
Perry birdied the first three holes and five of the first six. He birdied three of four holes midway through his back nine to get to 8 under before three-putting the par-3 17th for a bogey.
Pavin had a bogey-free round that featured four birdies on the front nine and three on the back.
Bart Bryant, Peter Senior, Jeff Brehaut, John Riegger and Tom Pernice Jr. shot 66. Riegger eagled two of the par 5s.
Hal Sutton and Colin Montgomerie were another stroke back at 67. Montgomerie is making his fourth Champions Tour start.