Fresno native Tony Smith opens at 3-over 74 at U.S. Senior Open

The Fresno BeeJuly 10, 2014 

Fresno native Tony Smith was in contention to make the top-60 cut after one round at the U.S. Senior Open.

Smith, a funeral home director and golf coach at Memorial High, shot a 3-over 74 on Thursday and was in a large group tied for 56th in a field of 156 at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.

Colin Montgomerie's 65 was good for a one-shot lead, with three players to finish their opening rounds Friday after play was suspended because of darkness. Only those in the low 60, including ties, after round 2 will play on into the final two days of the tournament.

Fresno native Bill Glasson and former Fresno State star Kevin Sutherland opened with 73s.

"I've still got a chance to win, but more importantly, I've still got something to play for," Smith said. "You look around, you realize that you're just as good as they are. And then you play.

"I was relatively calm the whole day. The course is difficult, but my game is solid. It's a course I can play."

Smith's second-round tee time was at 12:45 p.m. PDT Friday. See a complete list of tee times here.

Starting the first round at No. 10, Smith opened bogey, birdie bogey. From there, the director at Sterling & Smith Funeral Homes rattled off pars on seven straight holes before a bogey on No. 2 and a double bogey on No. 3 put him at 4 over.

He rallied with birdies at 7 and 8, then finished with a bogey on No. 9.

"When I got in trouble, I played conservatively and that helped me stay in it," Smith said. "I've just got to play and not get caught up with playing in the U.S. (Senior) Open.

"I've just got to look at it as I'm just playing with qualifiers -- not Vijay Singh. I've played in the afternoon when it was hot with my friends. I've done this before. I can do this."

Smith, 50, earned entry into the senior-level major tournament at a qualifier in Turlock last month. Going into this weekend, he said he's lucky if plays golf twice a week.

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