Joseph Deraney (CWI photo)
The defending champion Joseph Deraney (Belden, Miss.) picked up right where he left off at The Club at Carlton Woods, shooting a bogey-free 4-under 68 at the Nicklaus Course to take a three-shot lead after the first round of the 14th annual Carlton Woods Invitational.
Deraney, who last year won the title by two shots at the Fazio Course at Carlton Woods, held steady on a day where the winds gusted over 20 miles per hour.
Related: Joseph Deraney wins the 13th Carlton Woods Invitational
Another former champion, the 2015 winner Derek Meinhart (Mattoon, Ill.), sits in a three-way tie for second with Rob Garland (Nashville, Tenn.) and Scott McAlpine (Houston, Texas) at 1-under 71.
Brian Blanchard (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and 2014 champion Matt Van Zandt (Houston, Texas) sit tied for fifth at even par.
Among other notable players, two-time champion Colby Harwell (San Antonio, Texas) shot a 74 and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had a 76.
42 mid-amateurs and 47 seniors are in the field this week, representing 22 states and Canada.
In the Senior Division, the 2016 senior champion Lewis Stephenson (Mansfield, Texas) rode four birdies to a 2-under 70 and a four-shot lead over Craig Hurlbert (Magnolia, Texas) and Larry Nunez (Austin, Texas).
The leaderboard is stacked up after that, with two players at 75 and six more at 76.
Four-time CWI senior champion Mike Booker (Houston, Texas) shot an 81.
The shot of the day belonged to Randy Haag (Orinda, Calif.), who made an ace at the difficult par-3 17th.
The tournament continues Wednesday at Carlton Woods, with the final round played on Thursday.
ABOUT THE Carlton Woods Invitational
A 54-hole stroke play golf
played at The Club at Carlton Woods in the
Houston community of The Woodlands,
golf is one of the top activities. Entry into the
Woods Invitational is strictly
by invitation from the Tournament Committee. The
90-player field will be
comprised of two tournament divisions, a Mid-Am
Division for players aged 25-54,
and a Senior Division for players aged 55 and above.
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