Daily Wrap-up: Puerto Rico Open, Round 1text sizeMarch 07, 2013
By PGATOUR.COM wire reports
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Andres Romero made two late bogeys on Thursday but still grabbed a share of the lead at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com with Cameron Percy at 7-under 65.
Romero, the Argentine player who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2008, had an eagle and seven birdies on his first 15 holes to reach 9 under, then fell back with the bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.
Percy, from Australia, had nine birdies and two bogeys on the Trump International course.
Blayne Barber, who made headlines for disqualifying himself after the first stage of q-school in 2012, and Jon Curran were a stroke back, and two-time major champion Angel Cabrera opened with a 67 to match Bill Lunde, Steve LeBrun, Brad Fritsch, Justin Bolli, Morgan Hoffmann, Brian Stuard, Peter Uihlein and Rafael Campo.. Patrick Cantlay, the 20-year-old former UCLA player coming off a Web.com Tour victory last week in Colombia, shot 70.
South Korea's Si Woo Kim withdrew after a 79. The 17-year-old Kim, playing on a sponsor exemption, earned a TOUR card at q-school, but won't become a full TOUR member until he turns 18 in June. He missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in his only other TOUR start of the year.
Romero has missed the cuts in four of his five starts this year, shooting 75-67 last week in the The Honda Classic.
"I'm happy about the way things went," Romero said. "Last week on Thursday I started striking the ball quite well and then played really well on Friday, but it wasn't good enough for me to make the cut. I was very pleased at the end, and I practiced a lot over the weekend. I had a good feeling about my game, and today I just felt confident on each and every shot I hit. I felt I couldn't miss, and thank God, I'm putting well again."
Percy tied for 71st in The Honda Classic, wasting a 71-66 start with weekend rounds of 77 and 78.
"I just drove the ball really nicely," Percy said. "I've been trying to not hit the ball too hard, so I just hit three-quarters drivers and just kept the ball in play. I did that today and it was quite nice."
Cabrera played alongside countryman Romero and Colombia's Camilo Villegas.
"I had a really good time with them," Cabrera said. "They are really good friends, so we enjoyed a lot and had lots of fun out there."
Villegas shot 71. Defending champion George McNeill also had a 71.
Trump International: Round 1 Easiest hole Toughest hole
The par-5 second was the easiest with a Thursday scoring average of 4.447.
Eagles: 9 | Birdies: 65 | Pars: 50 | Bogeys: 6 | Others: 2
The par-4 first was the toughest with a Thursday scoring average of 4.152.
Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 9 | Pars: 96 | Bogeys: 25 | Others: 2
About the leaders: Andres Romero, Cameron Percy • Andres Romero is looking for his first TOUR win since the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
• Romero has missed the cut in four of his first five starts this season. His only made cut resulted in a T71 at the Northern Trust Open. Only two of his 13 rounds coming into this week were in the 60s. Last week, he missed the cut at The Honda Classic after rounds of 75-67.
• Romero had never held a lead/co-lead after any round in 115 previous starts on TOUR.
• Romero finished T20 in his only other start at the Puerto Rico Open in 2012.
• Romero had 24 putts on the day, but only 10 on the back nine. He did not have to putt on two holes, one-putted four holes and two-putted four holes.
• Cameron Percy had 23 total putts in the first round, including only 10 on the back nine. His back nine consisted of eight one-putts and one two-putt.
• Percy is back on TOUR in 2013 after finishing No. 13 on the 2012 Web.com Tour money list. Percy was a rookie on TOUR in 2010, but only played 12 TOUR events in 2011 and none in 2012.
• Percy’s best TOUR finish is a playoff loss at the 2010 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open when Jonathan Byrd made a hole-in-one as the sun was setting on the fourth playoff hole.
• Percy’s only other lead/co-lead on TOUR was when he held a share of the first-round lead at the 2010 Shell Houston Open (T35).
• Percy got his start in golf by using an old set of his grandmother’s clubs. He has worked as a sports reporter and a bartender prior to joining the TOUR.