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The Tour Report

April 28 2011

1:50 PM

Durant sets early pace with 67

Joe Durant hasn’t exactly had a banner couple of months. Thursday, however, he took a big step toward changing that with a 5-under 67 to take the early clubhouse lead.

On the day, Durant hardly missed a shot, hitting 13 fairways and 16 greens in regulation on his way to six birdies and just one bogey.

That’s a big improvement from his last six starts in which he’s missed the cut four times, withdrawn once and finished in a tie for 37th (at the Transitions Championship).

In fact, this year hasn’t been kind to Durant with six missed cuts in nine starts. His best finish was a tie for 20th at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Thursday’s round gives Durant a one-shot lead over Matt Bettencourt and Webb Simpson -- they each shot 68 -- and a two-shot advantage over Charley Hoffman, Billy Mayfair and Rickie Fowler.