Straka, McCumber among four-way tie for PGA Puntacana lead

MIAMI (AFP) – Austrian Sepp Straka soared with an eagle and five birdies Thursday to join a four-way tie for the lead on seven-under 65 in the United States (US) PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Championship.

Tyler McCumber had six birdies and an eagle and got as low as eight-under on the picturesque par-72 course, but a bogey at his penultimate hole, the eighth, dropped him back into a share of the first-round lead.

He and Straka were joined by Scott Harrington and Hudson Swafford, with China’s Zhang Xinjun and American Joseph Bramlett a shot back on 66.

“Hitting the ball really well all day,” Straka, seeking a first US PGA Tour title, said of his round. “The couple of times I missed the green I got up and down, chipped in once, so, really just kind of everything was falling into place today.”

Straka teed off on 10 and picked up four birdies in his first nine holes, the eagled the par-five fourth.

“Hit a pretty good drive in the fairway and had a good number for a five-wood in there,” he said of his eagle. “Hit it about five feet and sunk the putt.”