Mitsubishi Electric notes: Larry Mize shoots his course record

Larry Mize said he really enjoys playing TPC Sugarloaf, even though his scores there haven’t reflected a great deal of happiness — until Friday.

Mize shot a 5-under 67 in the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, his career best at the course. It bettered his previous best here by a shot and puts the Columbus resident squarely in contention at the venue for the first time.

“You know, I like the golf course,” Mize said. “You can check, I don’t think I’ve ever played really, really well. I think I’ve played OK here, but I like the golf course.”

His best finish at TPC Sugarloaf as a senior came in 2014 when he finished 15th, a week that included one of his 68s. Otherwise he’s had a tie for 24th, a tie for 25th and last year placed 70th. His best finish in eight PGA Tour events at Sugarloaf was a tie for 19th in 1997.

“History is probably not as good as I’d like it to be, but I still feel good on the golf course,” he said.

Mize started his round on the second nine and opened with a birdie, which led to a bogey-free 33. He birdied three of the first four holes on the second nine before making a bogey at No. 5 (his 14th hole) en route to a 34.

“I’d like to tighten it up a little bit,” Mize said. “We’ve always got to get a little better, but I was very pleased throughout.”

Mize is in a six-way tie for third place, two shot behind Bob Tway. Others at 5 under are Stephen Ames, Kevin Sutherland, Mike Goodes, Jeff Maggert and Bernhard Langer.

Mize made the cut last week at Augusta National — the 30th anniversary of his victory there — and is working to implement some changes suggested by instructor Jim Suttie. Mize said he tends to leave the club face open and is working to ensure it gets square with more consistency.

“A square club face works a lot better than an open one,” Mize said. “I like to tell people, it’s a higher level, but we’re still working on stuff. We’re no different than the average guy. A higher level, but hey, we’re still trying to get better. You get that club face square going down the line and good things happen.”

Frost swings it like Sergio: David Frost watched Sergio Garcia's driving technique at the Masters and put it into play for himself. The result: a 292.5-yard driving average, 71.4 percent driving accuracy and a first-round 66, good for second place.

“I liked (Garcia’s) posture, addressing the ball, and I tried a bit of that on the driving range this week and it really helped me a lot,” Frost said. “So that was my key to the round.”

Frost saw himself leaning over too much at address, so he straightened up and wound up with a great driving round.

“From there you set up the ground,” Frost said. “Granted, I made a couple nice putts. But it’s nice to be able to feel confident on the driver and hopefully, I won’t have to think so hard over the next couple days on getting that feeling on the tee box now.”

Janzen gets ace: Lee Janzen recorded his first PGA Tour Champions hole-in-one Friday. The two-time U.S. Open champion holed a pitching wedge from 128 yards on the second hole. It was the fourth career hole-in-one on Tour for Janzen, who is seeking his second win on the senior circuit. He went on to shoot 3-under 69.

Etc.: The toughest hole Friday was No. 5, the 441-yard par 4. It played to an average of 4.456 and gave up only seven birdies. There were nine double-bogeys and one triple-bogey. The easiest hole was No. 13, the 310-yard par 4, which had an average of 3.60. There was one eagle, a Stephen Ames' chip-in, and 34 birdies, with only six bogeys at No. 13. The 18th hole played 544 yards and surprisingly did not surrender an eagle. The scoring average on the course was 71.48. … Augusta native Jim Thorpe withdrew and was replaced by first-alternate Tom Purtzer, who shot an opening-round 76.