Jim Albus, playing well and putting better, shot a seven-under-par 65 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Ameritech Senior Open at Aurora, Ill.
Albus, seeking his second tour victory of the year and the top prize of $90,000, attributed his round to a new putter that he used for the first time Thursday in the pro-am.
"Whatever works," Albus said. "It sets my hands in a different way and sits nicely with me. My putting had been shabby and not acceptable."
Albus birdied two of the first four holes and then had eight pars before getting birdies on five of the last six holes of the 6,840-yard Stonebridge Country Club course.
"I didn't miss anything close and made all the ones you want to make," said Albus, who won the Suncoast Classic in February.
Albus led Chi Chi Rodriguez, George Archer and Bill McDonough, all at 67.
The group at 68 included Bob Charles, Al Geiberger, Dick Hendrickson, Dave Hill, Dick Lotz, J.C. Snead, Jim O'Hern and DeWitt Weaver.
Kristi Albers, who registered her lone victory in eight years on the LPGA tour 10 weeks ago, shot a four-under-par 67 to take the 36-hole lead of the JAL Big Apple Classic at New Rochelle, N.Y.
Albers completed two rounds over the par-71, 6,095-yard Wykagyl Country Club course in 139, one shot better than Betsy King, who has won this tournament twice, and Japan's Hiromi Kobayashi. King shot a 69, Kobayashi a 71.
Julie Larsen, who shot a 68, was at 141, and the group at 142 included LPGA Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner, who matched Albers with a 67 on Friday. Also even par after two days were Danielle Ammaccapane, who shot 70; Australian Karen Lunn, who had a 74, and Tammie Green, who shot a 73.
David Berganio of Sylmar and Brandon Knight of Argyle, Tex., each won two matches, advancing to today's 36-hole final in the 68th U.S. Amateur Public Links Golf Championship at Brighton, Colo.