Washington:Jerry Pate thought his card looked mighty good in the Champions Tour Boeing Classic on Friday - four birdies, no bogeys and most important: No three-putts.
"If you're putting for birdie 18 times you're supposed to make something, even me," Pate said. "They've talked so bad about me on television about my putting, I'm starting to putt better."
Pate made three birdies on the back nine, part of a 4-under round of 68 that put him in a group two shots back in the first round.
Ray Stewart, a former US PGA Tour player who made the tournament field by shooting 70 and claiming the last automatic spot in a Monday qualifier, made four birdies on his first nine, and finished with a 6-under 66.
Stewart, a Canadian playing in his first tournament since the 2006 Senior British Open, didn't bogey.
Pate, who started the week ranked 62nd in putting, hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and putted for birdie from off the green on the other two holes. He got to 2 under with a 15-foot birdie on No 11, then hit a wedge to 18 inches on No. 16 for a tap-in birdie.
Pate capped his day by sinking a 27-foot putt on the par-3 17th.
The group at 4 under also included Gil Morgan, who is struggling through one of his worst seasons on the Champions Tour. Morgan was also bogey-free in his round.