Cameron Percy of Australia saw the low scores early and then he went out in the afternoon and beat them all.
The 49-year-old Percy, who has won six times as a professional, posted a brilliant, 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Michael Kim of San Diego and Cal, Camilo Villegas of Colombia, Tano Goya of Argentina and Nate Lashley after the first round of the 17th World Wide Technology Championship at El Cardonal at Diamonte in Los Cabos, Mexico.
This is the first PGA Tour event played on a course designed by Tiger Woods, who was on hand to watch the action after finishing work on the course in 2014.
“I hit the ball beautifully,” said Percy, who has missed nine of 16 cuts on the PGA Tour this season and tied for 43rd in his last start at the Sanderson Farms Championship. “I didn’t hit it quite close enough coming in, but I had a few looks. I couldn’t make them all.
“I’m No. 152, I think, in the FedEx Cup standings, so finishing top-150 at my age would be fantastic. That’s sort of what I want to at least do, but if I can keep the ball rolling like I did today, I should be able to finish a lot higher than that, and then lead into Q-School with the Champions Tour. Yeah, I’m looking forward to that.”
Percy, who has won three times on the PGA Tour of Australia, made an eagle on the fifth hole and added four birdies on each nine in his flawless 62.
Kim collected nine birdies against a single bogey at No. 9 in in his 64, which the 41-year-old Villegas matched by making five birdies in his opening nine, while Lashley eagled the last hole to cap another bogey-free round, and Goya made four straight birdies on the front nine before making his 10th birdie on the 18th hole.
“It’s been a slow year from a performance point of view, but it’s been a very hectic year from a working standpoint, so there’s been a lot of work there,” said Villegas, who has won four times on the PGA Tour, but not since the 2014 Wyndham Championship. “It’s always nice to see a low score.”
Said Kim, whose only pro victory came in the 2018 John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour: “It’s definitely a second-shot golf course. You can use a lot of bowls to your advantage if you hit it in the right spots. You know, you just need some good iron swings.”
Matt Kuchar, who won this tournament in 2018 for one of his nine PGA Tour victories, birdied four holes on each nine in a 65 and is in a big tie for sixth with Cameron Young, who made four birdies on his front nine in a bogey-free round; Matti Schmid of Germany, who had four birdies on each nine against one bogey; Justin Lower, who birdied four the last five holes in his bogey-free round; Kramer Hickock, who made five birdies on the back nine in his bogey-free round, and Jeffrey Kang, who was a bogey-free seven-under-par on the 18th hole when darkness halted play.
Patton Kizzire, who won the World Wide Technology Championship in 2017, made three birdies on the front nine in a 69 and was in a tie for 42nd that included Charley Hoffman of Poway, the 2014 winner, who birdied the last two holes, and Brian Gay, the 2008 champion, who had four birdies on the front nine and also birdied No. 18.
For complete results and second-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard