Australia’s Nick O’Hern carded a spotless nine-under-par 62 to lead the Frys.com Open by three strokes at the end of day one.
In carding nine birdies and no bogeys, O’Hern equalled the CordeValle course record and established a three-shot cushion from early leader Jhonattan Vegas, Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts and Derek Ernst.
With players attempting to clinch a PGA Tour card for next season, O’Hern made the ideal early statement in San Martin, California.
To qualify for membership without going to the qualifying school, players must match the earnings of the player 125th on this year’s money list.
Starting at the tenth, O’Hern, 144th on the money list after just one top-ten finish this season, claimed eight birdies in 11 holes from the 13th, then added another on his final hole, the ninth.
Belgian Colsaerts, who made such an impact as one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s wild card picks at the Ryder Cup, entered the tournament 120th on the money list. He too was bogey-free, carding six birdies for a share of second alongside Venezuela’s Vegas and Ernst of the United States.
Behind them was a group of five players on five under, including England’s Greg Owen.
Scotland’s Russell Knox was one under for a share of 33rd, England’s Brian Davis one over in joint 72nd and his compatriot Gary Christian in 121st on five over. Defending champion Bryce Molder was in a tie for 50th after a level-par round of 71.