MILTON, Fla. -- Bob Duval shot a career-best, 9-under-par 61, one stroke off the Senior PGA Tour record, in taking a four-stroke lead after the opening round of the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday.

Duval missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have tied Asao Aoki's record, set in the 1997 Emerald Coast.While Duval was burning up the par-70, 6,784-yard course at The Moors Golf Club in the Florida Panhandle, his son, David, was shooting a 3-under-69 to finish the second round of The Players Championship a stroke back of Joe Ozaki.

The younger Duval is also the author of one of only three rounds of 59 in PGA Tour history.

"I wanted to get to 60 so I could tell David he only beat me by one," the elder Duval joked. "I came here feeling real good because I played every day last week with David. . . . He just beat the hell out of me."

Duval played even par the first four holes and finished the front nine only 2-under, then birdied seven holes on the back nine.

He finished four strokes ahead of Buzz Thomas, whose 65 was three strokes clear of Bruce Fleisher, John Mahaffey and Kermit Zarley.

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP: One reason Joe Ozaki keeps coming to America is to prove he can compete against the best. He'll get his wish this weekend in The Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The one member of his family who doesn't mind playing outside Japan, Ozaki had a 4-under 68 on Friday and is in the same position he was last year -- at 137, in the lead after two trips around the Stadium Course on the TPC at Sawgrass.

The difference is the guy chasing him.

David Duval, the hometown hero and the hottest player in golf, missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th but still managed to piece together a 3-under 69 for 138 and will be paired with Ozaki in the final group on Saturday.

"I'm very pleased with my score," Duval said. "I'm looking forward to the weekend."

He's not the only one. If Ozaki cares to peek over his shoulder, he'll find a star-studded group of players behind him.

Bruce Lietzke had a 68 and was two strokes behind, followed by Davis Love III (70) and a pair of two-time U.S. Open champions -- Ernie Els (67) and Curtis Strange (69).

Nick Price tied Els for the best round of the day and was at 141, along with Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie were another stroke back.

The Players is the third-strongest field in golf this decade, with 49 out of the top 50 from the world rankings. The only one missing is Ozaki's big brother, Jumbo, who has won over 100 tournaments around the world but only once outside Japan, the 1972 New Zealand PGA.

Joe Ozaki has played the PGA Tour and the Japanese tour since 1993, although he has never won in America.

"I have almost quit a couple of times here on this tour," Ozaki said through an interpreter. "But I was born to be a pro golfer. In order to test your game, you need to play against the best competition. You need to play on the best golf courses. That is a test."

DINAH SHORE: At Rancho Mirage, Calif., Meg Mallon, who received about as much notice for a hole she conceded as she has for a string of LPGA victories, shot a 3-par 69 Friday to hang onto the Nabisco Dinah Shore lead.

Mallon was at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of Solheim Cup teammate Dottie Pepper, at the midway point of the women's first major of the year.

Pepper had a 66, matching Mallon's first-round score.

Janice Moodie, a native of Scotland who played golf at San Jose State and is in her second LPGA season, went to 7-under with a 68 over the 6,460-yard Mission Hills Country Club course.