Australian veteran Cameron Percy fired an eagle and eight birdies in a 10-under-par 62 on Thursday to seize a two-shot lead at the PGA Tour’s WWT Championship at Los Cabos.
Percy pitched in for eagle at the 601-yard par-five 6th hole to reach five under and added four more birdies the rest of the way, matching his career-low round on the PGA Tour.
He was two strokes clear of Michael Kim, Camilo Villegas, Nate Lashley and Tano Goya at Cardonal at Diamante, the first Tiger Woods-designed course to be used for a PGA Tour event.
South Africans Erik van Rooyen and MJ Daffue carded four-under 68 and three-under 69, respectively.
“I hit the ball beautifully,” Percy said. “Didn’t hit it quite close enough coming in, but I had a few looks. I couldn’t make them all.”
The WWT Championship is the fifth event of the FedEx Cup Fall, a group of seven tournaments played after the Tour Championship that finalises eligibility for the 2024 PGA Tour season.
Percy is nearly old enough for the over-50 PGA Tour Champions, and he said he would play the senior circuit’s Q-School next month.
Thursday’s round was a confidence builder, no matter how the rest of the week goes.
“I’m 152 I think [in the FedEx Cup standings], so finishing top-150 at my age would be fantastic,” Percy said. “I want to at least do that, but if I can keep the ball rolling like I did today, I should be able to finish a lot higher than that, and then lead into Q-School with the Champions Tour.”
Colombia’s Villegas, who claimed the most recent of his four Tour titles in 2014, hit all 14 fairways and had eight birdies in his eight-under 64.
“It’s been a slow year from a performance point of view, but it’s been a very hectic year from a working one,” said the 41-year-old, who has combined playing with a new commentating career this season. “It’s always nice to see a low score.”
Kim and Lashley had joined Villegas at eight under before Argentina’s Goya grabbed his share of second before darkness halted play with a handful of players left on the course.
Goya was nine under through 15 holes but fell back with bogeys at 16 and 17 before a birdie at the par-five 18th.
© Agence France-Presse
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