Puerto Rico Open: Early lead for Brian Stuard
Last Updated: 07/03/14 5:29am
Brian Stuard hits a drive during the first round of the Puerto Rico Open
Brian Stuard ended day one of the Puerto Rico Open with a one-shot lead over his rivals after an impressive opening round of 66 in Rio Grande.
The 31-year-old, starting on the back nine, sank five birdies on his way out and two more on the return before a bogey on his second-last hole slightly blemished his card.
However, his score of six under was enough to put him at the top of the leaderboard ahead of American compatriot Jason Gore and Danny Lee.
"The wind is blowing pretty good out there, so I got to hit some good shots," Stuard said. "I did well. I kept it in play nice off the tee, didn't get in much trouble, and only made the one bogey.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-6 B Stuard
-5 J Gore
-5 D Lee (Nzl)-4 Seven players tied
"I've just been playing pretty solid, but been putting well. I putted really good to start off the year and then kind of last few weeks not quite as good and then good today."
Gore was flawless on his way to a round of 67 while New Zealander Lee mixed six birdies with a single bogey for the same score.
"It wasn't easy out there," Lee said. "It was very windy, and there's some tough pin placements out there, but I played very smart today and I hit it where I wanted to hit it, and I rolled it really nicely with the putter. It was a really good day for me."
Seven players were tied for fourth on four under, among them 2009 US Open runner-up Ricky Barnes, who picked up four shots after the turn on his way to an opening score of 68.
Defending champion Scott Brown was well-placed after a two-under 70, while Brooks Koepka, who is the highest-ranked player in the field at 70th in the world, was on level -par.