Paul Simson of Raleigh made nine birdies on his way to an 8-under-par 64 and a four-stroke lead after Wednesday's opening round of the Carolinas Senior Championship being played at the Golf Club at Briar's Creek.
Simson's closest challenger is Rich Weston of Pawleys Island with an opening 68. Gary Robinson of Fayetteville, N.C., and Russ Perry of Winston-Salem, N.C., are tied for third at 69. Frank Ford III of Charleston, Macon Moye of Pinehurst, N.C., and Nolan Mills III of Charlotte share fifth with opening 70s.
Preston Edmondson of Morrisville, N.C., who is trying to win the event for the third straight year, opened with a 75 and is tied for 19th.
Simson, who earlier this year won his 37th Carolinas Golf Association title, won the Carolinas Senior in 2007 and 2008. He birdied the final four holes on the front nine to turn at 32 and added birdies at 10, 12, 14, 15 and 18 with his lone bogey coming on the par-4 16th.
Weston also managed four birdies on his way to an opening 32. Weston had two birdies and a double bogey on the back nine.
Only 10 of the 113 players managed to shoot rounds of par or better Wednesday. The tournament for players 55 and older continues through Friday.
Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C., 68; Rich Weston, Pawleys Island, 68; Gary Robinson, Fayetteville, N.C., 69; Russ Perry, Winston-Salem, N.C., 69; Macon Moye, Pinehurst, N.C., 70; Frank Ford III, Charleston, 70; Nolan Mills III, Charlotte, 70; Todd Hendley, Columbus, N.C., 71; Walter Todd Sr., Laurens, 72; Dave Davis, Asheboro, N.C., 72; Mike Gravley, Greer, 73; Dean Channell, Cary, N.C., 73; Harrison Rutter, Winston-Salem, N.C., 73; John Fritz, Mint Hill, N.C., 74; Kevin Walsh, Blowing Rock, N.C., 74; Jeff Rausch, Waxhaw, N.C., 74; Joe Padgette, North Charleston, 74; Mike Arnold, Mooresville, N.C., 74; Kevin King, Bluffton, 75; Phil Bland, Waynesville, N.C., 75; Preston Edmondson, Morrisville, N.C., 75; John Rudolph, Charlotte, 75; Bert Atkinson, Charleston, 76; Bobby Newman, Roebuck, 76; Eddie Hargette, Blythewood, 76; Neal Morrison, Charlotte, 76; Pat Thompson, Asheville, N.C., 6; Tim Pope, Spartanburg, 76.