Moore flirts with magical 59
Ryan Moore (Gallo Images)
Las Vegas - American Ryan Moore equalled the course record and his career best with a 10-under 61 on Thursday in the first round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open tournament.
Moore had nine birdies, an eagle at the 341-yard par-four 15th hole, and one bogey in a round that gave him a one-shot lead in the PGA Tour event in Las Vegas.
"Just one of those nice days. Got off to a great start -- seven under on the front nine and just kind of cruised the next nine," he said, thanking the lack of wind and perfect temperatures.
"It's one of those days that you just keep putting it in play. You know you're going to have a bunch of pitching wedges, nine-irons, eight-irons into these greens, and a few shorter irons, too."
Brendon de Jonge shot a 62, while Tim Herron and John Huh were one further back on 63 after playing in perfect conditions at the Summerlin course.
Justin Leonard, Chris Kirk and Jonas Blixt were three strokes back on 64.
Moore, who lives in Las Vegas, also shot a 61 this season in the Humana Challenge. He has seven top-10 finishes.
The 29-year-old is aiming to do well this week to try and secure a berth at the Masters next April. He is 36th overall on the money list and the final top 30 will gain starts at Augusta.
Moore's score tied the Summerlin record set 11 years ago by Davis Love, last week's defeated US Ryder Cup skipper.
Chip Beck holds the overall tournament record, shooting a 59 in 1991 at Sunrise Golf Club.
Scores on Thursday after the first round of the $4.5 million PGA Tour's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (par-71, USA unless noted):
61 - Ryan Moore
62 - Brendon de Jonge (ZIM)
63 - Tim Herron, John Huh
64 - Chris Kirk, Justin Leonard, Jonas Blixt (SWE)
65 - Patrick Reed, Blake Adams, Rory Sabbatini (RSA), Vaughn Taylor
66 - Ken Duke, Nick Watney, Robert Garrigus, Kevin Stadler, Russell Knox (SCO), J.J. Killeen, Richard H. Lee, Vijay Singh (FIJ), Erik Compton