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One of the largest galleries at the Franklin Quest Championship Friday afternoon followed Bruce Summerhays, the Salt Lake native who lives in Heber.

Summerhays, who turned 50 earlier this year and is hoping to make a career on the Senior PGA Tour, received a sponsor's exemption for the Franklin Quest tourney after playing in two senior events earlier this year.He got off to a good start Friday with an even-par 72 with two birdies and two bogeys. Summerhays hit his approach at No. 18 within 8 feet, but slid his birdie putt just by the hole.

"It felt really comfortable out there," he said. "I like to beat old man par by a stroke or two and would have have been ecstatic with a 71. But even par is good and if I have a good round tomorrow I'll be back in it."

Among the other golfers with local ties, former Utah Open champ Bill Johnston and former Utah Amateur champ Babe Hiskey shot 77s, Lanny Nielsen had a 78 and ex-Utahn Billy Casper struggled to an 81.

BETTER WITH AGE: The most amazing round of the first day belonged to 78-year-old Jerry Barber. The 5-foot-5, 140-pounder fired a 2-under-par 70, which not only gave him the lead in the Vantage Classics (over-60 tournament within a tournament) with Gay Brewer, but also put him just two strokes off the overall lead.

Barber is the only player to play in all 13 Senior PGA events in Utah since the first at Jeremy Ranch in 1982.

"This is such a great place to play, anyone who wouldn't want to come back here has rocks in his head," said Barber.

Barber wasn't always enthralled with Jeremy Ranch, the former site for the Senior tournament in Utah. He once suggested they blow up the 18th green at Jeremy Ranch. But he likes Park Meadows.

"I don't think I have ever seen better fairways," he said. But his favorite course in Utah is a couple of miles away.

"I like Park City (Municipal) the best," he said.

FIRST TIME'S A CHARM: Jay Sigel, the longtime amateur/insurance salesman, who is a rookie professional on the Senior Tour, is making his first visit to Utah this week. So far he is impressed with what he's seen.

"This is magnificent. I've spent almost as much time looking at the scenery as working with my golf game," he said. "I think I'll be the first to reserve to come back next year."

MOODY COODY: Charles Coody, who will always be remembered for his collapse on the last two holes of the 1991 tournament, had a schizophrenic kind of round Friday.

He began by birdieing the first four holes. Then he went bogey, double bogey, before making two straight birdies.

Finally he made his first par of the day at the 9th hole. Then he proceeded to par his last nine holes to finish at 3-under-par 69.

FRANKLIN NOTES: Gary Player is making his first appearance in the tournament since 1987 when he finished in a tie for third. He's not likely to contend this year after shooting an opening-round 77 . . . Al Kelley scored a hole-in-one at the 187-yard 16th hole, hitting a 5-iron into the wind . . . The toughest hole by far Friday was the 451-yard par-4 9th hole, which usually plays as the 18th. Only three birdies were made, along with 27 bogeys, six double bogeys and triple for a 4.50 average . . . The easiest hole was the 553-yard 17th hole, which averaged 4.769 . . . The first group tees off at 8 a.m. today with the leaders going off at 12:10 p.m.