LA QUINTA, United States (AFP) – Michael Putnam fired 10 birdies in a nine-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab the lead after the first round of the US PGA Tour’s US$5.7 million Humana Challenge.
His one-stroke advantage came thanks to a blistering birdie run that included six straight from 12, with Italy’s Francesco Molinari and fellow Americans Mark Wilson, Blake Adams, John Peterson and Scott Pinckney sharing second on 64.
It was a further stroke back to defending champion Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Jason Kokrak and Steve Wheatcroft.
Putnam, 31, a three-time winner on the Web.com developmental tour, is seeking his first US PGA Tour win.
His assault came on the PGA West’s Nicklaus Course, one of three in use for the first three rounds of the tournament in the southern California desert.