Thursday’s best score at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans came from the day’s first group.
Ricky Barnes opened the week’s festivities with an 8-under 64 to take the early advantage and no one was able to catch, let alone overtake, the early leader by the conclusion of first-round play.
Boo Weekley came close, carding three birdies on his last five holes to open with a bogey-free 65. He was matched late in the afternoon by Lucas Glover, who had six birdies on the front nine (his second nine) en route to a 65 of his own. D.A. Points and rookie Morgan Hoffmann were another shot back after matching 66s.
Another 10 golfers checked in at 5 under including Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler and 2006 PLAYERS champion Stephen Ames, who needs a win this week to qualify for the 2013 event at TPC Sawgrass.
A total of 84 players completed the first round in red numbers. Not among them was 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang, whose three birdies were offset by three bogeys in an opening-round 72.