Ray Stewart, a 33-year-old Canadian struggling to retain his PGA Tour card, beat dusk with a six-under-par 65 Thursday to tie Curtis Strange and John Mahaffey for the opening-round lead in the $500,000 Bank of Boston golf tournament at Sutton, Mass.
Strange and Mahaffey, who led an assault on par during ideal morning conditions at Pleasant Valley Country Club, had shared a one-stroke lead over Lee Trevino and weren't challenged until Stewart mounted his late afternoon charge.
Stewart, a pro from Vancouver, who regained his PGA card in qualifying school last fall, made his move after a birdie and a bogey left him at par through six holes.
Stewart, who began play on the back nine, birdied the next three holes for a three-under-par 32 at the turn. He added three more birdies on the front side for his best start since joining the Tour in 1983.
Strange, who has won a record $697,000 this year, started on the 10th tee and had bogey-free nines of 32 and 33 on Pleasant Valley's 7,110-yard course.
Mahaffey started with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole and went on to make six more birdies against one bogey.
Trevino, playing in only his 10th tournament of the year, had seven birdies and two bogeys.
Chi Chi Rodriguez shot a five-under-par 67 to take a one-shot lead over Gary Player in the first round of the Paine Webber Seniors tournament at Charlotte, N.C.
Rodriguez, a seven-time winner who is the Seniors Tour's leading money-winner with $423,451, played the back nine first with birdies on Nos. 11 and 14. On the front nine, he had three more birdies.
Ken Still and Ben Smith were tied for third at 69.
Jose Maria Canizares of Spain shot a five-under-par 67 for the first-round lead in the $350,000 European Open at Walton Heath, England.
Canizares held a one-stroke edge over Britain's Robert Lee. Spain's Severiano Ballesteros and West Germany's Bernhard Langer, two of the tournament favorites, shot 70s, tying for eighth place.