Peter Kozubal of Fox Hollow registered six birdies against three bogeys en route to a three-under-par 69 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the 61st NJSGA Pre-Senior Championship at the par-72, 6,496-yard Metuchen Golf and Country Club in Edison.

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Kozubal, who won the 2015 NJSGA Public Links Championship, is one shot in front of Michael Dupree of Forsgate and two shots ahead of KJ Kim of Eligo Cub. Tied for fourth place are Niall Handley of Essex Fells and John Beck of Cream Ridge.

The low 26 players who shot 80 or better return for Wednesday’s final round. The Pre-Senior Championship is for golfers ages 45 to 54.

“My putting today was very good,” said Kozubal, 49, a resident of Bridgewater. “The greens were rolling very well.. I hit it straight and had some good wedges in.”

Among his six birdie putts was a 20-footer, breaking left to right, on the par-3, 16th hole.

“I won’t play overly cautious tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll hit it like I did today,” said Kozubal, who finished third in the 2018 Pre-Senior Championship at Roxiticus.

Dupree, 51, who resides in Elizabethport, shot the lowest round of his career on Tuesday, thanks to an eagle on his final hole, the par-4, 376-yard, No. 9. There, he hit a 60-degree wedge from 98 yards that rolled across the green and into the cup. He added two birdies on the final two holes of his front nine, the par-4, 17th and par-3, 18th, and made it three consecutive birdies when he drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-4, No. 1.

“I played a practice round here on Sunday and got a good understanding of the greens. I felt comfortable on them today. They were rolling immaculately,” Dupree stated.

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