Scott Piercy was happy to fly under the radar and end day one of the inaugural 3MOpen with a two-shot lead on nine-under par.
The 40-year-old carded a sensational flawless 62 in Detroit, managing six birdies in his last eight holes to lead by a couple of shots after 18 holes.
The Las Vegas resident’s nearest challengers are Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (5.25) and Adam Hadwin (15.00) of Canada, whose rounds of 64 sees them well in contention. In excellent scoring conditions, 71 players managed to get under par on Thursday and Piercy confessed to performing better than expected.
“You always get one or two guys go really low and I just happened to be that guy,” he said. “I was thinking four or five under a day would be nice.” Five players are tied for fourth on -6, with left-hander Brian Harman and India’s Arjun Atwal among them while Bryson DeChambeau (9.50), Tony Finau and Brendan Steele are in a group of nine a further shot back.
World number one Brooks Koepka is in the field this week and managed a creditable four-under-par 67 while Web.com Tour graduate Stephan Jager of Germany is the top European on -2.
Koepka is priced at 10.00 to win despite being five shots behind the leader, with Piercy on offer at 7.00, and the first-round leader was happy to play his golf out of the spotlight as the TV coverage had ended as he put together his round.
“Yeah, no TV, no crowds,” he added. “I had a couple people, so I give them kudos. “It’s fine, whatever. When I play, there’s not much TV. It’s true.”