Overton opens without bogey

Jeff Overton, who leads the Byron Nelson Championship by one, lines up a putt during the first round.

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Jeff Overton, who leads the Byron Nelson Championship by one, lines up a putt during the first round.

IRVING, Texas — When the par putt dropped for Jeff Overton on the second hole early in the Byron Nelson Championship, things suddenly seemed to be going in the right direction for him again.

"That broke a lot, and I thought I missed it, and it actually went in," Overton said about the 10-footer on the 220-yard par 3. "And next thing, I was able to hit a lot of great shots and strike out early. I never had a chance of making bogey from there. "

Overton went on to a bogey-free 6-under 64 Thursday to take the first-round lead, a stroke better than Ryan Palmer.

After that breaker on No. 2, Overton made consecutive birdies. He started his back nine with four birdies in seven holes for his best score in 15 career rounds at this tournament.

Among his three runnerup finishes last season, when Overton was on the Ryder Cup team, was at this event.

"It's nice having confidence because of last year," Overton said. "I knew I played well. I just wanted to keep things rolling."

Sergio Garcia, who withdrew from a British Open qualifier this week and didn't play a practice round at TPC Four Seasons because of an infected fingernail on his left hand, was in a group of nine players two strokes back after opening 66s.

Garcia's finger was so sore a few days ago that he thought he might not even be to play.

How about this for a cure: atibiotic cream, draining the infection, seeing the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and an opening eagle.

"It's funny how golf is sometimes. Yeah, rarely practice at all, and then we get there," Garcia said about holing a sand wedge from 116 yards on his first hole, the 418-yard 10th. "I hit it, and I saw guys on the green saying 'In,' and I thought, 'Perfect!' I couldn't have started in a better way."

Dustin Johnson, who played with Garcia, was in the group at 66 along with Jeff Quinney, Scott Piercy, Will Strickler, Chris Riley, Josh Teater, Joe Ogilvie and Keegan Bradley.

Champions: Japan's Kiyoshi Murota surprised even himself by shooting 6-under 66 to grab the first-round lead in the weather-plagued Senior PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky.

After a 90-minute delay at the start of the round and a later suspension of play that lasted more than three hours, half the field was still on the course when darkness fell. Those 78 players will hit Valhalla Golf Club early today to complete the first round.

Murota had a one-shot edge on alternate Trevor Dodds, with former Masters and British Open winner Mark O'Meara another stroke back after 68. Tom Watson shot 70.

European: Luke Donald shot 7-under 64 to take the lead in the suspended first round of the BMW PGA Championship, leaving him eight strokes ahead of No. 1 Lee Westwood in their battle for the top spot in the world ranking. Donald mastered the wet, windy conditions on Wentworth's West Course in Virginia Water, England, to match his lowest tour round. He had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch and finished with eight birdies and a bogey. The second-ranked Englishman needs to outperform Westwood to take the top spot.

Overton opens without bogey 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:21pm]

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