NEWS
09/02/2016 17:52 EDT | Updated 09/03/2017 01:12 EDT

David Frost eagles 18th to take first-round lead at Shaw Charity Classic

CALGARY — South Africa's David Frost eagled the 18th hole to move atop the leaderboard after the opening round of the Shaw Charity Classic on Friday.

Frost's putt from about 30 feet took several seconds to reach the hole before it dropped in from the right side to give him an 8-under 62.

"It was on the low side of the hole and it's very rare that that happens, as I say, it drops in from the amateur side," said Frost, who finished 12th at last year's Shaw Charity Classic after placing 10th and ninth in the first two years of the PGA Tour Champions event.

"I was very happy to see it go in."

Frost also eagled the 11th hole and had four other birdies to get to 6 under before play at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club was temporarily halted at 2:15 p.m. MST due to a lightning storm.

"I had a steady round going until we got into the rain delay and I basically just said to myself when we started out that I'm just even par and just go ahead and play from here rather than thinking about my position," said Frost, who had five holes to complete when play resumed three hours later.

"If you can mentally come up with little game plans like that, I think it always helps."

Defending champion Jeff Maggert and Jose Coceres, who were tied with Frost when play was suspended, finished the first round in a tie for second place at 7-under 63.

"It was hard to kind of get ready after the delay, but it was nice to birdie the last (hole)," said Maggert. "I made two or three really good par saves coming down the stretch so that was good too."

Tom Byrum shot a round of 64 on the par-70, 7,029-yard course to finish alone in fourth place ahead of six other golfers that includes 66-year-old World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Watson, who eagled his final hole to shoot 65.

Rod Spittle, of Niagara Falls, Ont., finished as the top Canadian after carding a round of 2-under 68 to put him in a tie for 34th. A loud crack of thunder roared just behind Spittle shortly after he finished his round and just before a horn sounded to suspend play.

"We truly are very lucky to have had our 9:30 (tee) time this morning, so now we'll go stay dry and watch everybody else run around for the afternoon," said Spittle, who bogeyed two of his first five holes, before reeling off five birdies in his next nine.

"I just started slowly. I kind of simmered down and made three birdies on the back nine just to get back to where I was supposed to be for the first round, so not too many complaints."

This is Spittle's fourth straight year competing in Calgary and he has continually had glowing reviews of the tournament.

"I sound like a broken record after the last three or four years," he said. "It's always fun to come home. It's turned out to be the surprise of the Champions Tour."

Victoria's Jim Rutledge birdied his final two holes on Friday to shoot 69, which put him in a tie for 48th place at 1 under.

Vancouver's Stephen Ames double bogeyed the first hole before rebounding to record a pair of birdies to finish at even par.

"Tough start, but other than that it was pretty good," said Ames, a former Calgary resident who finished in a tie for fifth last year. "I didn't make anything unfortunately, but overall I was happy how I hit the golf ball."