Constellation Energy Senior Players ChampionshipSeptember 30, 2009

Nielsen Leads By One

Lonnie Nielsen's opening 65 leads Tom Watson and Jay Haas after the first round

The unheralded Lonnie Nielsen leads an impressive group in the season's final major.

The unheralded Lonnie Nielsen leads an impressive group in the season's final major.

TIMONIUM, Md. (AP) -- Tom Watson made four birdies on the front nine and shot a 4-under 66 to move into a second-place tie with Jay Haas, one stroke behind unheralded Lonnie Nielsen after the first round of the Senior Players Championship.

Seeking his first win on the Champions Tour this year, Watson missed a 3-foot birdie putt on 18 that cost him a share of the lead. But the 60-year-old was still delighted with his round Thursday, which included only one bogey.

Nielsen finished with eight birdies and three bogeys. He birdied four of the first six holes and added birdies on Nos. 9, 12, 14 and 15.

Haas used a run of three straight birdies to go 6 under after 15 holes, but finished with successive bogeys on 17 and 18.

Fred Funk, the leader in Schwab Cup points, also bogeyed the final two holes for a 71.