Mexico City - Chris Kirk fired an eight-under par 63 on
Thursday to grab a one-shot lead in the US PGA Tour's OHL Classic at Mayakoba
in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Kirk, whose two top-10 finishes in three starts so far this
season include a runner-up finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship, fired
eight birdies without a bogey on the El Camaleon course designed by Greg
"I definitely drove the ball well today," he said.
"It's definitely intimidating off the tee a little bit, but thankfully I
hit a lot of good ones today."
Kirk, who won the most recent of his four US tour titles in
2015, had a one-stroke lead over Colombian Camilo Villegas and Americans Gary
Woodland and Ben Crane.
Mexico's Abraham Ancer was in a group on 65 that also
included 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson, Aaron Wise, Scott Piercy, Kevin
Streelman and Nicholas Lindheim.
Wise's round included a hole in one on the par-three fourth,
which he followed with an eagle at the par-five fifth.
"It was kind of crazy," said Ancer, whose approach
shot at the third hole had hit the flagstick and spun off the green. "I
got a bad break and then two great holes right after it to keep the momentum,
to keep the round going."
His hole in one was with a gap wedge, he said.
"It was 118 yards or so but you have the breeze coming
off the ocean there. It landed long left and spun back down. It took a while
but it eventually dropped. It was pretty cool."
Ancer was thrilled to be in the hunt in front of home fans.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself and I obviously
want to play well, but it would be awesome to finish up there at the end of the
tournament," he said.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland
endured a tough four-over 75. He had just one birdie and five bogeys and was
already 12 shots off the pace and needing something special on Friday to make
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the US PGA Tour's OHL
Classic at Maykoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (USA unless noted):
63 - Chris Kirk
64 - Camilo Villegas (COL), Gary Woodland, Ben Crane
65 - Webb Simpson, Aaron Wise, Scott Piercy, Kevin Streelman, Nicholas Lindheim, Abraham Ancer (MEX)
66 - Luke List, Mark Wilson, Cameron Davis (AUS)
67 - Brett Stegmaier, Adam Hadwin (CAN), Ryan Blaum, Jon Rahm (ESP), Scott Brown, John Huh