LEON, GUANAJUATO, Mexico -- Long Beach, California native Peter Tomasulo carded two eagles and six birdies en route to an 8-under-par 64 to grab the first-round lead of the 52nd Mexico Open Bicentenary, the fifth of six international events on the 2010 Nationwide Tour schedule.
Tomasulo made just two bogies on the 7,708-yard, par-72 El Bosque Country Club. Located approximately 6,800 feet above sea level, the ball can go up to 10 percent farther than normal. His lowest round of the year was good enough for a one-stroke lead over fellow Californian Jamie Lovemark.
"Other than two missed clubs I'd say the day went pretty well," said Tomasulo. "There's a couple of holes out here where you think the ball will go farther than it normally does or the other way around and that's what happened to me on Nos. 7 and 9."
Tomasulo's tee shot with a hybrid to the 272 yard, par-3 7th hole bounded over the green. He then chipped up to 15 feet but was unable to negotiate the par putt. On No. 9, his final hole of the day, he hit an 8-iron approach that he mistakenly thought would fly 170 yards and came up just short of the putting surface. He chipped to five feet and missed the putt, ending the day on a sour note.
"This is a course you can make a lot of birdies on, but you're going to make mistakes too," said the 2004 University of California graduate. "The greens are rolling nicely -- and they're soft too -- so there's going to be some low scores."
Tomasulo has always performed well in Mexico. In 2005, he posted a course-record 62 in the final round of the Canadian Tour's Michelin Moralia Classic to finish third. He also tied for seventh at the Mexico Open in 2008.
"I'm always relaxed out here," he added. "It's definitely different but I feel like I've gotten enough international experience to where I feel comfortable with being out of the country."
This isn't Lovemark's first trip to Mexico either but it is his first time playing a golf tournament south of the border.
"The weather is really nice. It's like southern California so it feels like home," he said. "The people have been so nice to us and the course is absolutely beautiful."
Lovemark's 7-under-par 65 included eight birdies and a lone bogey. His round was jump started after a 215-yard 5-iron approach shot on No. 14, a 525-yard par-4.
"It was the best shot I hit today," added the 2007 NCAA Individual Champion from the University of Southern California. "I was in between clubs so it was a great result on a tough hole."
Lovemark agrees El Bosque is here for the taking this week and feels he can't let up on the gas pedal.
"It seems like you can score out here so I am just trying to make as many birdies as possible," said the 22-year-old from San Diego. "I need to keep hitting the ball in the fairway and make my fair share of putts."
D.J. Brigman and B.J. Staten are two strokes back at 6-under par. Staten was 7-under as he stood over his third shot from 80 yards on the par-5 18th but flew the green and dropped a stroke. Brigman finished off his round with birdies on 16, 17 and 18.
The first round was delayed for nearly an hour and a half late in the afternoon because of threatening conditions, forcing 44 players to finish play on Friday morning at 8:45 a.m ET. The second round is expected to begin at 8:55 a.m ET.
• Efren Serna, Jr. of Leon, Mexico shot a 2-under-par 70 today, the lowest round by a player from Mexico.
• Play was suspended from 4:05 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. because of inclement weather in the area.
• Lovemark's eight birdies is the most by any player in the first round.
• Sal Spallone birdied five holes in a row (Nos. 4-8), the best of the day.
• Tomasulo played the par 5s to 6-under par in the first round which included two eagles (Nos. 8 and 18). It's the first time this year a player has had two eagles in the same round.
• The Nationwide Tour has seven international events on the 2010 schedule. The Tour heads to Canada in two weeks for the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic.