AUSTIN -- Joe Inman shot a 7-under-par 65 for a one-stroke lead over Tom Watson after the first round of the Kinko's Classic on Friday.
Inman had eight birdies and one bogey on the 7,030-yard, par-72 The Hills course at The Hills Country Club in the Champions Tour event.
"I have played so poorly for the last year and a half to two years," said Inman, who shot his best round since he opened with a 65 at the 2001 Long Island Classic. "I was strangely calm. When you get into position, you have to take advantage of it. And that's what I did today."
Watson's two eagles, seven birdies, five bogeys and four pars gave him a 6-under 66 -- and a day that had "a lot of drama to it," he said.
"Every trouble shot I tried today seemed to work to perfection," Watson said. "I didn't play particularly well today, but I got absolutely the most out of my round.
"A par was a premium today," Watson said.
Bruce Lietzke stayed atop the leaderboard at 6-under par through 15 holes, but after a triple-bogey on the par-3 16th that gave many of Friday's golfers fits, and a three-put on the 17th, Lietzke went in at 3-under 69 along with four others.
"I started off just a little shaky, then became very solid," said Lietzke, who had seven birdies in the round. "I seemed to make all my putts until I got to 16."
Lee Trevino, a Texas native, pulled out of the event Friday morning citing back spasms. Jim Holtgrieve, the fifth alternate for the Kinko's Classic, replaced Trevino.
The Champions Tour is making its first stop in Austin despite a long relationship between the two. Texas' capital city hosted the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournament starting in 1978, an event that marked the birthplace of the seniors concept.
The Hills was one of the first courses for Jack Nicklaus to design, and he and many other of the Tours biggest names -- including Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer -- are all playing in the tournament. Irwin finished at 3-under, and Nicklaus was six strokes off the lead at 1-under.