Joe Durant has just birdied three straight holes to seize sole possession of the lead midway through the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
He made the turn in 34 after a bogey at the ninth hole. But Durant shook off that disappointment in a big way with a birdie putts of 17, 26 and 11 feet on the first three holes of the back nine at TPC Louisiana.
The 47-year-old veteran is a four-time winner on TOUR with his most recent victory coming in the 2006 FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. He’s 5 under and two strokes ahead of Matt Bettencourt, Charley Hoffman, Billy Mayfair, Webb Simpson and D.J. Brigman.
This year hasn't been one of Durant’s best, so this start is cause for optimism. He tied for 20th at the Farmers Insurance Open and 37th at the Transitions Championship but those are the only two checks he's cashed in nine starts.