California dream for Lamely
American returns 63 to lead Bob Hope Classic
Last Updated: January 20, 2011 9:27am
Lamely: Hot streak
American Derek Lamely fired a nine-under-par 63 to lead after the opening round of the 90-hole Bob Hope Classic in California.
Lamely, who won the Puerto Rico Open in his rookie season last year, got hot on his back nine at the Palmer Private course - one of four in use this week - to take the outright lead on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a run of five birdies and an eagle from holes two to seven to lead by one from Venezualan Jhonattan Vegas and American JJ Henry.
"The weather's just so good," said Lamely, who had just 24 putts. "You've just got to go out and stay aggressive every hole.
"You got to pick your spots and hopefully you can get hot and make a bunch of putts. I kind of got that going today.
"It's definitely a big putting contest. The golf course is there for the taking if the weather stays perfect, and I've barely seen it anything other than perfect here."
Henry was delighted with his opening round after making his first Tour appearance since September.
"I really felt refreshed and ready to go," the 35-year-old said. "I have never been this excited to start the year, both mentally and physically, with my ball striking and such. Hopefully that leads to good things the rest of the way."
Swede Fredrik Jacobson opened with an eight-birdie 65 on the Nicklaus layout to lie two off the pace, level with Americans Boo Weekley, Ricky Barnes, Kyle Stanley and long-hitting Gary Woodland, plus Canadian Matt McQuillan.
World number 13 Matt Kuchar - the highest ranked player in the field - had a 66 at the SilverRock Resort to sit amongst a bunch of players in six-under, along with Bubba Watson and Charles Howell to name two.