San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Ted Purdy fired a course-record tying nine-
under-par 61 on Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of
the Texas Open.
Tim Clark, J.J. Henry, Jim McGovern and Dean Wilson share second place at six-
under-par 64. Six players, including Justin Leonard, are one stroke further
back at minus-five.
Purdy got off to a hot start on the Resort Course at LaCantera Golf Club. He
parred the 10th, his first, then dropped a wedge within 10 feet at the 11th to
setup his first birdie.
He came right back with a three-foot birdie at the 12th and made it three
straight when he stuck a wedge within three feet of the cup at 13.
Purdy wasn't done there. After he knocked his second shot over the green at
the par-five 14th, he nearly chipped in for eagle, but settled for a kick-in
birdie to quickly move to four-under.
Purdy, a two-time runner-up this season, reeled off five consecutive pars
around the turn. He hit a seven-iron to two feet at the second for his fifth
birdie of the day.
He came right back with a birdie at the third to climb to six-under. Purdy
holed out from the fairway with a sand-wedge at the par-four eighth for eagle.
"I hit the ball better today than I have maybe ever in my life, and I can
attribute that to I had a great message last night from a guy named Jim
Weathers," Purdy said. "I was relaxed and the club was on plane and I was
hitting it far and square, and it was a lot of fun."
At the ninth, his last, Purdy rolled in a 10-footer for birdie to tie the
course record set three times previously.
"The last hole was a driver and if it hadn't been uphill, I probably would
have hit that 400 yards," said Purdy, who won once on the Nationwide Tour.
"That drive, I hit it straight down the middle. That was probably the longest
putt of the day, 10 feet, which was a great way to end a great round."
Henry also started on the back nine and birdied three of his first seven
holes. He ran off four straight pars around the turn, before birdieing the
par-three third to move to minus-four. The 29-year-old then dropped in back-
to-back birdies from the sixth to get to six-under.
Clark, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, got off to a hot start. He
ran off five straight birdies from the par-four 11th. Around the turn, he
birdied the first and fourth to climb to seven-under. The South African
bogeyed the par-four eighth to slip back into a tie for second place.
McGovern stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th, his first. However
he came right back to birdie No. 11. He dropped in back-to-back birdies from
the 16th and again from the first to climb to minus-four. The 1993 Houston
Open winner converted birdies at the seventh and eighth to tie for second.
Wilson, best known as one of Annika Sorenstam's partners at the 2003 Colonial,
began with four straight pars before carding an eagle at the par-five 14th. He
came right back with a birdie at the 15th. The Hawaiian then birdied Nos. 17
and 18 to jump to five-under.
Around the turn, Wilson tripped to a bogey at the par-four fourth. He fought
back with birdies at the sixth and seventh to move to six-under. He parred his
final two holes to remain there.
Leonard is joined in a tie for sixth place at five-under-par 65 by Jay
Delsing, Scott Simpson, Mark Wilson, Scott McCarron and Patrick Sheehan.
Duffy Waldorf, Jerry Kelly, Tom Lehman and Loren Roberts lead a group of 17
players one stroke further back at minus-four.
Tommy Armour III, the defending champion, shares 29th place at three-under-par
09/16 21:16:03 ET