Grayson Murray opened with back-to-back birdies, then closed his day the same way, emerging with a one-shot lead Thursday after the first round of the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
The 24-year-old North Carolina native shot a 5-under-par 67 in the wind at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course. Chesson Hadley, Billy Horschel, Ryan Moore, Keegan Bradley and Matt Atkins are tied for second at 4 under.
Andrew Landry, Jon Curran, Harris English, Joshua Creel and Mexico’s Roberto Diaz share seventh place at 3 under.
Murray was at 3 under for his round before his lone mistake: a double bogey at No. 7. He bounced back with birdies at Nos. 11 and 13 before his closing kick.
“This is the first time I’ve seen this course, other than yesterday obviously,” Murray said. “I didn’t play last year, but it sets up really good for my game. I can hit a lot of drivers out there, which is a strength when I’m swinging it well.”
Murray is in search of his second PGA Tour win, having captured the Barbasol Championship last summer.
Hadley made his lone bogey of the day at No. 18.
“That could have been maybe the best round I played this year, just from how hard it was and how difficult the course is and kind of everything that’s going on, that’s just off the top of my head,” said Hadley, whose lone PGA Tour win came in the 2014 Puerto Rico Open. “I played so well today, proud of myself for hanging in there. I certainly made some putts, which, you can score when you make putts.
“I just pieced it together pretty well today. I made … made one par I definitely shouldn’t have made, but I’m not going to do it over again or give it back. Tremendously pleased with the round today.”
Defending champion Kevin Chappell finished at even par to tie for 35th. Among the others to card an even-par round was 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who was making his professional debut. He began with a bogey and then had three birdies and a double bogey the rest of the way.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia had a rough go in his first competitive round at a course where he was part of the design team. Playing in the Texas Open for the first time since it moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010, Garcia shot 2 over par, leaving him tied for 87th.