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U.S. Senior Open 2012: Tom Kite Leads Crowded Field After 18 Holes

As many as 15 players are within five strokes of the lead after the first day of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, but all are looking up at 62-year-old veteran Tom Kite and his 5-under score of 65.

Kite's unbelievable front nine score of 28 made waves early in the morning, as the 1992 U.S. Open champ held the lead for virtually the entire day while his competitors toiled away on the course. Kite will have to keep his wits about him on Friday however, seeing as how Bernard Langer, who missed only one green Thursday, and Lance Ten Broeck are each right on his tail at 4-under par after each carding 66's.

Corey Pavin originally appeared to finish the day with a 5-under 65 to put him in a tie with Kite, but was noticed on live television committing a penalty after he grounded his club on an unknown hazard by the No. 5 green. Pavin was docked a two-stroke penalty after golf officials reviewed the tape after his round and thus ended the first day back in the pack at 3-under par.

Along with Pavin at 3-under par lies a bevy of household names from the last few decades of golf, as Fred Funk, Jeff Sluman and Tom Pernice Jr. are all in the mix. Fan favorite and senior tour young gun Fred Couples finished seven strokes off the pace at 2-over, but could vault right back into the hunt with a strong performance on Friday.

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