The winner of the 1987 Masters, Mize has not had a top-10 finish on the Champions Tour in more than two years and his best finish in his past five events is a tie for 59th.

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SNOQUALMIE — Larry Mize surprised even himself.

The winner of the 1987 Masters, Mize has not had a top-10 finish on the Champions Tour in more than two years and his best finish in his past five events is a tie for 59th.

But no one was better than Mize on Friday in the first round of the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie when scores were much more like a Senior U.S. Open than a typical Champions Tour event.

Mize, 56, shot a bogey-free 67 to take a two-shot lead, but he can’t get too comfortable. Among those in a five-way tie for second is Fred Couples, the Seattle native and local favorite.

“I am pleasantly surprised with the round,” said Mize, after leading a Champions Tour event for the second time (he also did it in 2012).

“I was home the last two weeks working hard to get things turned around. I was optimistic I could have a good week this week.”

It was the second-toughest round for scoring in the history of the Boeing Classic, with an average score of 73.35. The only tougher round was the first round in 2011 (73.5).

The day began with unseasonably cool weather and breezy conditions. When the sun finally came out, it was hard to get the ball close on the hard greens. Any score under par was good.

“You know, 69s here before were really nice scores, but they didn’t put you in second place,” Couples said.

“It’s a lot better than going out here and shooting 67 and losing ground. Larry Mize, that’s a phenomenal round, and you can tell because (11th) place is 1 under, and that’s a long cry from 67.”

Despite his recent slump, Mize has proved he can perform on the biggest stage. He is best known for holing a 140-foot chip shot to beat Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman in a playoff in the 1987 Masters in Mize’s hometown of Augusta, Ga.

“Hopefully it didn’t change me, but it is definitely life-changing from the opportunities that it gave me and the confidence it gave me,” he said.

Couples is in a tie with Carlos Franco, Billy Andrade, Jeff Freeman and Chien Soon Liu. Former U.S. Open winners Lee Janzen and Corey Pavin are in the group at 2 under.

Couples said he was happy with his round, which was highlighted by three birdies in a four-hole span, beginning at the eighth.

Like Mize, Couples also had his biggest career win in the Masters, in 1992. Winning in front of his hometown fans is high on his list, and he admits he feels a bit more pressure here.

“I don’t think anyone could say no,” Couples said.

“But I do like playing here. If I’m playing well, I feel really good about it. … And today was a good day.”

It was a great day for Mize, who made birdies on three of his final five holes, and capped his day by making an 18-foot downhill birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said.