Canada's David Hearn tied for lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Brantford golfer opens with 7-under 64 to share lead
Brantford, Ont.'s David Hearn is in a three-way tie for the lead after the first round at the Shriners Hospitals for Children PGA event in Las Vegas.
Hearn fired a 7-under par 64 in the opening round to match the best of the day along with American players Michael Thompson and Mark Hubbard.
Hearn, 36, who had five Top 25 finishes a year ago, including a trio of Top 10's in 2015 on the PGA tour, had eight birdies in his round at the Summerlin TPC and a lone bogey. He was 4-under starting on the back nine before bogeying the par-4 17th hole, his eighth hole of the day. Hearn then played his second nine of the day at 4-under, finishing with birdies on his final three holes to shoot 64.
"The course was playing pretty much perfect as it's going to get," Hearn said. "The greens were great this morning. I think that there's a reason there's a lot of good scores on that board. It's because the course is in such good shape."
Nick Taylor, with a 5-under 66, was the best of three other Canadians entered in the event. Adam Hadwin shot a 1-under 70, while Graham DeLaet was 1-over with a 72.
Patrick Rodgers, one of the most exciting prospects in the game, continued his impressive start to the 2015-16 PGA Tour by charging into contention with a 65.
The 23-year-old American, who tied for sixth place in the season-opening Frys.com Open last week, took advantage of the customary low-scoring conditions in the Nevada desert. With barely a breath of wind at the TPC Summerlin, Rodgers added six birdies and two bogeys to an eagle at the par-five ninth.
Level with Rodgers at six under were Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, South Korean D.H. Lee, Englishman Greg Owen and Americans Chad Campbell and Ricky Barnes.
"It was nice to be the first off, the greens were perfect," Rodgers told reporters after teeing off in the first group of the day and storming to the turn in a sizzling five-under 30.
"I felt really comfortable and was able to roll in a few putts, especially there on that front nine. I definitely wasn't at my sharpest on the back but all in all a very good start."
Rodgers, whose best PGA Tour finish was a tie for second at this year's Wells Fargo Championship, felt he had also benefited from an eight-week break from competitive golf before starting the new season at the Frys.com Open in Napa, California.
"It definitely could be an advantage," said Rodgers, who was an outstanding amateur golfer at Stanford University where he won 11 times to match a record set by Tiger Woods.
"I made the most of my time off and I felt really prepared last week. I'm going to try to use to that my advantage this fall."
Rodgers made 12 of 17 cuts as a non-member on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, including two top-10s, before finishing in the top 125 in the FedExCup standings to secure his card for this season.
American world number five Rickie Fowler, the highest-ranked player in the field, hit his tee shot into water at the par-three 17th on the way to a double-bogey and an opening round of 72.
With files from The Associated Press