Canada’s Adam Svensson swooped for two eagles in a 10-under par 62 to grab a two-stroke lead in Thursday’s first round of the Barbasol Championship.
World No 158 Svensson, chasing his first PGA victory, also had seven birdies and a lone bogey at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky, to match the lowest score for the first 18 holes in tournament history.
“I was hitting it well and putting well and it kind of all clicked,” Svensson said. “I feel like I’m rolling it really nicely.”
Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia, who missed the cut at Bay Hill in 2016 in his only prior PGA Tour start, carded a 64 to share second with France’s Robin Roussel.
It was a further stroke back to Germany’s Matti Schmid, Colombian Camilo Villegas, England’s David Skinns and Americans Trey Mullinax, Michael Kim, Max McGreevy, Mark Hubbard and Bo Van Pelt.
South Africa’s Justin Walters is on six under (T12).
The event is co-sanctioned by the PGA and DP World tours for the first time as is this week’s Scottish Open, where most of the world’s top players are competing ahead of next week’s Open at St Andrews.
Svensson, a back-nine starter, drove the green to set up a tap-in birdie at the par-five 11th, made a four-foot birdie putt at 12 and missed a five-foot par putt at the par-three 14th for his only bogey.
He responded by reaching the par-five 15th green in two and sinking a 23-foot eagle putt, then added birdies at 17 and one before making three in a row starting at the fourth.
Svensson (28) drove the green at the par-five 8th and sank a 31-foot eagle putt to take the lead alone and parred the par-three 9th.
He has managed his two best PGA results, this season, a share of seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January and ninth at the Honda Classic in February.
© Agence France-Presse