PGA Tour

Molder grabs Colonial lead

2016-05-27 06:47
Bryce Molder (Getty)

Washington - Bryce Molder, seeking his first US PGA title in five years, fired a bogey-free six-under par 64 to grab a one-shot lead after Thursday's opening round of the Dean and Deluca Invitational.

The 37-year-old American, whose only tour triumph came at the 2011 Open, birdied his last four holes at Colonial to grab a one-stroke lead over compatriots Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson and India's Anirban Lahiri at Fort Worth, Texas.

"I got some good looks late," said Molder, who began on the 10th tee and opened with nine pars.

"I may have just been still asleep. it was dark and cloudy. We were laughing they were about to blow the horn for darkness."

Molder blasted out of a greenside bunker at the par-5 first hole to two feet and then put his approach at the second hole to three feet to begin his last nine holes with back-to-back birdies.

In his closing birdie run, Molder sank two 11-foot putts, an 18-footer putt to end his round and a 20-footer at the seventh after blasting out of a fairway bunker.

"These bunkers are so good. They're perfect. You aren't going to aim for them but they are really nice," Molder said.

"I was fortunate to get that 20-footer. You get them on line on these greens and they are going to go in."

Lahiri, another back-nine starter, had a rocky start. He found a bunker at the par-5 11th but blasted to eight feet and sank a birdie putt, then followed with a 20-foot birdie at 14.

But Lahiri made bogeys at 15, missing the fairway on his first two shots, and 17, 3-putting from 17 feet, before making the turn with a six-foot birdie putt at 18.

Lahiri missed a three-foot birdie putt at the par-5 first, but used it to help him surge to the finish, making birdies at the second after blasting from a fairway bunker to inches from the cup, the sixth and seventh on solid putts and the last by blasting from a fairway bunker to four feet and making the putt.

"I hit it pretty good all day," Lahiri said. "I got my focus back after that miss on one and got rolling. The last nine holes we played were ideal for scoring. If you can find enough fairways you can really take advantage."

Lahiri said Colonial's layout reminded him of one of his favourite courses, the Delhi Golf Club in his homeland.

"You have to think your way around," he said. "I really enjoy tracts like this."

Reed missed a five-foot par putt to bogey the par-3 fourth but made a 40-foot birdie putt at the seventh and a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-3 eighth, his penultimate hole of the day.

Simpson started on the back nine, birdied the first and second holes to reach 5-under, then answered his lone bogey at the fourth with a 20-foot birdie putt at the fifth and closed with four birdies to share second.

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