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Rested duo top crowded board

LA QUINTA, Calif. — A little extra time off this winter left David Toms and Camilo Villegas feeling fresh for the Humana Challenge.

Toms and Villegas shot 9-under 63 to top the leaderboard after Thursday's opening round.

Ted Potter Jr., Sang-moon Bae, Brandt Snedeker and Bob Estes were one stroke behind on the pro-am tournament's three courses.

Villegas, a former college star at Florida, and Toms both played bogey-free at the erstwhile Bob Hope Classic, which has dropped one day of its traditional five-round format.

Toms passed on a hard-to-get spot in the Chevron World Challenge in December to spend extra time with his family. He shook off an unimpressive start to the season in Hawaii with excellent play alongside Presidents Cup teammate Phil Mickelson at La Quinta Country Club.

Toms made a 30-foot birdie on No. 6 right after Mickelson, who struggled to 74, holed an eagle putt. That increased the energy at an often staid event.

"That's probably the biggest crowd I've ever had playing golf here," Toms said.

Villegas recovered from his disappointing 2011 with an extended break in his native Colombia and Florida. He had nine birdies in his first crack at the Nicklaus Private course.

"You feel that you're a little rusty, but at the same time, you're mentally fresh," said Villegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner.

Former President Bill Clinton, who will play alongside old friend Greg Norman on Saturday, showed up to the event Thursday.

Rested duo top crowded board 01/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:37pm]
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