Frank Ford of Charleston and Brady Exber of Las Vegas both posted 2-under-par 69s Wednesday to share the first-round lead in the Senior Azalea Invitational golf tournament at the Country Club of Charleston. Four players are tied for third, one shot off the lead.

Six players are tied at even-par 71 for the Super Seniors (players 65 and older) lead -- Danny Dean of Charleston, Tommy Ford of Mount Pleasant, Jon Verity of Beaufort, Gary Shimmin of Okatie, Don Wood of Louisville, Ky., and Andy Wall of Tyler, Texas.

Ford, who has won the Azalea Invitational six times, made three birdies and one bogey in shooting 34 on the front nine. He had one birdie and one bogey for an even-par 35 on the back.

Exber made two front-nine bogeys for a 38 but caught fire midway through the back nine, making birdies on four of his final five holes.

The field of 126 will be cut to the low 54 Seniors (age 55 and older) and low 30 Super Seniors for Friday's final round.

SENIOR LEADERS

Frank Ford, Charleston, 34-35--69; Brady Exber, Las Vegas, 38-31--69; Dennis Helms, Monroe, N.C., 33-37--70; Mike Weiner, Manchester, Md., 34-36--70; Buzz Peel, Delray Beach, Fla., 36-34--70; Frank Wrenn, Greenville, 33-37--70; Danny Daniels, Kingsland, Ga., 35-36--71; John Long, Centreville, Va., 37-34--71; Dale Porter, Leland, N.C., 34-37--71; Mike Rice, Houston, 36-35--71; Tom Humphrey, Okatie, 36-35--71; Mike Bodney, Jacksonville, Fla., 37-34--71; Daniel Cook, The Woodlands, Texas, 37-35--72; Ted Smith, Wilkinson, Ind., 36-36--72; Bill Leonard, Kennesaw, Ga., 35-37--72; Don Slater, Durham, N.C., 35-37--72; Bob Howe, Larchmont, N.Y., 37-35--72; Harris Rakestraw, Somerset, Ky., 35-37--72; Bill Boles, Wilson, N.C., 38-34--72; Mark Baxter, Atlanta, 35-37--72; Paul Schlachter, Bridgeville, Pa., 37-36--73; Bill Palmer, Bluffton, 38-35--73; Jim Anthony, Franklin, Ind., 35-38--73; Ron Carter, Monticello, Ind., 34-39--73; Corky Nelson, Dallas, 38-35--73; Rick Bauch, Hartland, Wis., 36-37--73; Bill Smunk, Kingstree, 39-34--73; Robert Bennett, Cheraw, 36-37--73; Marlin Detweiler, Akron, Pa., 36-37--73.

SUPER SENIOR LEADERS

Jon Verity, Beaufort, 34-37--71; Danny Dean, Charleston, 36-35--71; Tommy Ford, Mount Pleasant, 38-33--71; Gary Shimmin, Okatie, 35-36--71; Don Wood, Louisville, Ky., 35-36--71; Andy Wall, Tyler, Texas 37-34--71; Arnold Edwards, Charlotte, 36-36--72; Nick Kirkland, Snellville, Ga., 37-35--72; Gary Strickfaden, Southern Pines, N.C., 37-36--73; Gus Kozina, Beach Park, Ill., 38-35--73.