DeChambeau opens with 62 to grab early PGA Vegas lead

Los Angeles (AFP) –

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Bryson DeChambeau, playing his first PGA event since winning last month's US Open, fired a nine-under-par 62 to seize the early lead in Thursday's opening round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

World number six DeChambeau's bogey-free round, including a career-best run of five birdies in a row, sent him surging to the top of the leaderboard at par-71 TPC Summerlin in suburban Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old American's strategy of blasting the ball as far as possible with little worry about landing in the rough brought his first major victory at Winged Foot and produced more success Thursday.

Back-nine starter DeChambeau made seven birdies in eight holes starting with an 18-foot putt at the par-4 12th, followed by a six-footer for birdie at the par-5 13th and a tap-in par at the par-3 14th.

Then came his birdie run starting at 15, with the only final putt beyond five feet coming at the first when he dropped in one from just over 11 feet.

DeChambeau drove onto the green at the par-4 seventh and sank a two-foot birdie putt, then reached the fringe in two at the par-5 ninth and tapped in for birdie to seize the lead.

It was the second year in a row at the Shriners that DeChambeau made a back-nine 30 in his opening round. His only other back-nine score so low came in the final round of his 2017 victory at the John Deere Classic.

American Austin Cook was second in the clubhouse on 63 with Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and American Brian Stuard sharing third on 64 with afternoon starters still on the course.