LUTZ, Fla. (AP) -- Jim Dent made himself right at home at the TPC of Tampa Bay.
The Tampa resident shot a 6-under-par 65 on Friday for a share of the first-round lead with South Africa's Simon Hobday in the Senior PGA Tour's GTE Classic.
''It would be special to win. Just to win anywhere feels great,'' said Dent, 60, who won the last of his 12 senior titles in 1998.
''Local knowledge may help me a little bit, but sometimes that works against you. You can know too much.''
Dent holed a birdie pitch on the 191-yard, par-3 second hole, and had five more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 6-under 29. He added birdies on Nos. 10 and 12, but dropped two strokes with consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 and 15.
''It was fun today. You don't have these fun days all the time,'' Dent said. ''I hit a great pitch shot on the second, and it turned the whole day around.''
Hobday is seeking his first victory since 1995.
''I've played terrible for the past 2 1/2 years,'' Hobday said. ''Today I hit the ball like Ben Hogan and putted like Ben Crenshaw. Today was lovely, like finding water in the desert.''
Bruce Fleisher, a seven-time winner last year as a rookie on the 50-and-over circuit who successfully defended his title in the Royal Caribbean Classic two weeks ago, was two strokes back along with Terry Dill.
Tom Jenkins, Ed Dougherty, John Mahaffey and Jim Ahern opened with 68s. Gary Player was at 71, and Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and defending champion Larry Nelson shot 72s.
Tom Watson and Tom Kite, competing in their first full seasons on the senior tour, shot 73s. Lanny Wadkins, the ACE Group Classic winner last week in his senior debut, opened with a 75.
Watson missed pro-am events Wednesday and Thursday after his mother became ill.
''Fortunately, everything is all right, my mother is in good shape,'' Watson said. ''There are no excuses, I didn't play very well. My short game and my putting wasn't there.''
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