LOS ANGELES: Former British Open champion Stewart Cink, Matt Every, Scott Brown and Sebastian Munoz carded six-under 64s on Thursday (Friday in Manila) to lead a low-scoring first round at the US PGA Tour St. Jude Classic.
Cink, who hasn’t won since lifting the 2009 Open Championship, birdied his final hole of the day, the ninth at TPC Southwind, to grab his share of the lead.
“The key to my round today was the key to anyone’s round who plays well here and that is you’ve got to keep the ball in front of you,” said the 44-year-old.
“Meaning, you don’t have to hit every fairway, but you can’t really be off too much.”
Every, who won the most recent of his two PGA Tour titles in 2014, is hoping to turn around a disappointing season in the final tune-up for next week’s US Open at Erin Hills.
He had four birdies and an eagle without a bogey, but sounded a cautious note when looking ahead.
“I haven’t played real well in a couple years, and I’ve been out here for like seven or eight, so I kind of know the drill,” said Every, who has made just two cuts this year. “Like one round is not that big a deal. It is nice to play well, but yeah, they don’t hand out trophies after the first round.”
Every set the early target and was joined by Cink and Brown before Colombia’s Munoz, among the last players on the course, grabbed his spot in the leading group.
Munoz had three birdies on each side, including back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 in a bogey-free effort.
The leading quartet had a one-shot lead over South African Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Australian Matt Jones.
It was a further stroke back to two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa and Chez Reavie.
Defending champion Daniel Berger opened with an even-par 70.
In his professional debut, England’s Sam Horsfield posted a 3-over 73.