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The Constellation Senior Players Championship got off to a hot start – literally and figuratively – at the Caves Valley Golf Club Thursday in Owings.

With on-course temperatures in the 80s when the first group teed off a little bit before 8 a.m., and the heat index expected to reach triple digits by the afternoon, several players took advantage of the soft conditions.

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Three-time defending champion Bernhard Langer, trying to become the first player in the history of the PGA Tour Champions to win the same major four straight years, birdied five holes on the front nine to take a share of the early lead.

Wide-open field, demanding Caves Valley stand between Bernhard Langer and senior golf history

Langer is trying to become the first player in the history of what is now called the PGA Tour Champions to make it four straight wins at a major.

Journeyman Jim Carter matched Langer's 31 on the front, then added another birdie on the par-5 12th to take sole possession of the lead.

Four others were tied with Langer at 5-under.

Former U.S. Open champion Cory Pavin made the turn at 2-under 34 but then holed out for eagle at the par-4 11th and birdied No. 12. Former Masters champion Ian Woosnam played the first eight holes in 5-under and Scott Dunlap did just that in seven holes.

Playing with Langer, Brandt Jobe eagled the par-5 second hole and birdied the par-4 third. He reached 5-under with a birdie on the par-4 10th.

Also in the day's featured group, reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Kenny Perry got to 3-under par through six holes, but then bogeyed the par-4 seventh after finding bunkers on consecutive shots and then bogeyed the par-4 eighth when he chunked a difficult downhill chip, leaving it in the rough behind the green. He then nestled his next shot near the cup and tapped in for bogey.

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