Last Updated: 08/08/13 10:06pm
David Hearn's name sits atop the leaderboard as he lines up a par putt at the 18th
David Hearn celebrated his US PGA Championship debut with an encouraging, opening 66 that left him just one shot off the early lead at Oak Hill.
The Canadian journeyman has enjoyed an excellent season on the PGA Tour and came close to landing his maiden title at last month's John Deere Classic, where he missed two makeable putts to win before losing out to teenager Jordan Spieth in a play-off.
The 34-year-old recovered from an opening bogey with six birdies at Oak Hill, although he bogeyed the last to drop one behind clubhouse leader Jim Furyk.
"Obviously I'm a little disappointed with the finish, but after that bogey on one, got a birdie right back on number two and that kind of got me back in the direction pretty quickly," said Hearn.
"In between that, I hit a lot of good shots, and it was a really solid round. It feels good to be in contention, I've been playing some really good golf the last few weeks."
Hearn is currently just inside the top 50 in the FedExCup standings and has banked over $1m in prize money this year, and he admitted he took a lot of confidence from his performance at TPC Deere Run.
"The John Deere was a step forward for me in my career at this time; to be in contention on the biggest stage, maybe not the biggest tournament on the Tour, but definitely, in the playoff with Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth," he added.
"I took a lot of positives. I think when I do get in that situation again, I'll be able to pull from that and I'll look back at it as a great learning experience."
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