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US Senior Open of Golf 2016: Thursday Leaderboard Scores and Highlights

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 12, 2016

Jul 28, 2016; Springfield, NJ, USA; Vijay Singh watches his shot on third hole during the first round of the 2016 PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol GC - Lower Course. Mandatory Credit: Eric Sucar-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Sucar-USA TODAY Sports

Looking for his first victory of the 2015-16 season, Vijay Singh got off to a rousing start at the U.S. Senior Open with a four-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead after 18 holes.

There is a group of a five players tied for second place at two under par, highlighted by Jeff Gallagher and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Only 12 players finished the round under par, but there's a lot of golf to be played and plenty of time for competitors to turn their tournaments around. 

Here's how the top of the leaderboard from Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, looks following Thursday's action, with the full leaderboard available at the USGA's official website:

2016 US Senior Open Leaderboard: Thursday, Aug. 11
PositionPlayerScore
1Vijay Singh-4 (66)
T2Jeff Gallagher-2 (68)
T2Michael Allen-2 (68)
T2Gene Sauers-2 (68)
T2Glen Day-2 (68)
T2Miguel Angel Jimenez-2 (68)
T7Scott Verplank-1 (69)
T7Michael Bradley-1 (69)
T7Joey Sindelar-1 (69)
T7Billy Mayfair-1 (69)
T7Ian Woosnam-1 (69)
T7Takeshi Sakiyama-1 (69)
T13Kenny PerryE (70)
T13Mark BrooksE (70)
T13Jay HaasE (70)
T13John DalyE (70)
T13Jeff MaggertE (70)
T13Olin BrowneE (70)
T13Paul BroadhurstE (70)
T13Greg KraftE (70)
T13Stephen AmesE (70)
T13Jeff SlumanE (70)
T13Brian HenningerE (70)
T13Marco DawsonE (70)
Source: USGA.org

The 53-year-old Singh has been around the world over the course of his career, winning three major championships along the way, and he's shown flashes of brilliance on the PGA Tour even at this advanced stage of his career.

This marks Singh's first trip to Scioto Country Club, but he has the talent to make it a memorable one. His lone blemish Thursday was a bogey on the par-three 17th hole; otherwise, he was on point out of the gate. 

One of Singh's best shots came off the tee on the ninth hole, as he stuck the ball 10 feet from the cup, via the PGA Tour Champions' official Twitter account:

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PGA TOUR Champions @ChampionsTour

Vijay leads the #USSeniorOpen by 2 because of shots like this ... https://t.co/dSST6Hcq5V

Singh, whose native Fiji won the Olympic gold medal in men's rugby sevens Thursday, had a lot of reasons to smile after his round.

Robby Kalland of CBS Sports jokingly pointed out what Singh's evening may have looked like upon hearing about Fiji's triumph:

Robby Kalland @RKalland

*Vijay Singh looks up from his trash can full of range balls* *checks phone and sees the Fiji score* *smiles* *hits 10,000 more balls*

Singh will do whatever he has to do to remain focused for the next three days. He's not the same player who was once ranked No. 1 in the world, but he did finish second at the Quicken Loans National in June. There is plenty of gas left in the tank for the veteran. 

Jimenez has been putting together a good season on the Champions Tour. He won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in April and has three second-place finishes.

Jimenez also took part in the British Open last month, finishing a respectable 18th with an even-par score. 

John Daly is tied for 13th at even par. The Wild Thing could have taken a better score into the clubhouse if not for a double-bogey six on his 17th hole (No. 8). 

Per the USGA, after his round, Daly was pleased with his performance.

"Except for a couple of bad drives, everything was pretty solid today," he said. "I hit a lot of fairways."

This was a memorable day for Daly, as ESPN Stats & Info reminded everyone on Twitter:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

On this date: In 1991, John Daly - the last alternate in the field - wins the 73rd PGA Championship by 3 strokes https://t.co/0d4HQeFmAx

Daly started the 1991 PGA Championship two strokes behind Kenny Knox and Ian Woosnam before taking the lead with a 67 on Friday. He will need another day like that if history is going to repeat itself. 

Further down the leaderboard is Tom Watson, who was sluggish for the first 14 holes. His day looked bleak after his fourth bogey on the 12th hole, but back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 left him in a decent position.

The USGA provided highlights of Watson's first birdie, which was not an easy putt on the 441-yard par four:

USGA @USGA

It took 15 holes, but Tom Watson has his first birdie of the #USSeniorOpen. https://t.co/6MtwlcRZzh

Finding ways to stay in the thick of things is all a player like Watson needs at this point in the tournament. If he struggles again Friday, though, the sense of urgency will be amplified exponentially. 

Singh is such a calm presence on the golf course that he won't allow himself to get too high based on one good performance. He has the poise to lead from wire to wire, but several players in his rearview mirror are ready to make their own moves.

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