Americans Brice Garnett and Ben Martin each shot 6-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic.
Garnett, who earned the tournament title in 2018 and would be its first multiple winner, started on the back nine at Corales Golf Club and birdied three of his first five holes. He posted three more birdies in a five-hole stretch on his back nine.
“Great way to start the week here,” Garnett said. “We were pretty excited when we saw the wind forecast for the week where it’s going to be windy morning and afternoon. We just have a lot of good vibes around here. We do a pretty good job guessing the winds, always putt pretty good on this grass, so it was a great day to start off a fun week.”
Martin also started on the back nine and carded six birdies without a bogey. He also shot an opening-round 66 in last year’s tourney.
“I didn’t know that,” Martin said. “I knew I played good last year. It was a solid day, bogey free. I got a nice break at the last hole. Hit a very questionable shot that hit the rocks and somehow ended up on the green. It’s nice to get good breaks.”
Matt Wallace of England was alone in third place with a 67, the result of six birdies but one bogey.
Six golfers, all from the U.S., were tied for fourth at 4-under: Max McGreevy, Dylan Wu, D.A. Points, Sean O’Hair, Ricky Barnes and Kelly Kraft.
Defending champion Chad Ramey of the U.S. is in a group tied for 26th after a 1-under 71.