Streelman Shoots 63, Leads Roy by One Stroke in 23rd Valspar Championship

Kevin Streelman captured the 2013 Valspar Championship and he would like to do it again.

The 45-year-old Streelman carded a bogey-free, seven-under-par 64 with the help of a new ball-marker to take a one-stroke lead over Kevin Roy after the first round of the 23rd Valspar on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Play was halted by darkness with two players, Paul Barjon of France and Kevin Dougherty still on the course and they will return on Friday morning to finish their rounds before the second round begins.

“I knew today was going to be solid and then it’s going to be hold-onto-your-shorts here for the next few days,” said Streelman, who won the Valspar when it was known as the Tampa Bay Championship, and claimed one other PGA Tour title in the 2014 Travelers Championship. “So trying to just keep a good attitude and have some fun.

“It’s kind of a cool little new ball marker I’m using that is legal that can kind of give you some visual cues that I think is pretty helpful. I was using that today, which I think kind of helped, as well.”

Streelman, who started on the 10th hole, had 10 consecutive one-putts beginning on the fourth hole and ending at No. 5, including five par saves to go along with three birdies on the back nine and four on the front in his 63.

Roy, 34, who has not won as a professional and is playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption, collected four birdies on each nine against two birdies in a 64.

“I told my caddie, who is my buddy, ‘We’ve got nothing really to lose. Let’s go out and have some fun, who played college golf at Long Beach State. “I’m mainly focused on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, but I’m going to try to keep the pedal down the next few days and see where it takes us.

“My pace on the greens was really good and the putts were falling just over the edge, which was nice to see. We were really happy. Luckily, the beverage cart was driving up at the end and we had a nice cold beer. We were really excited about it.”

Peter Malnati made five birdies on the back nine in a 66 and is tied for third with Carl Yuan of China, who sank a 16-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole and had four straight birdies through the turn, and Adam Svensson of Canada, who had four of his six birdies on the front nine.

Rico Hoey, a native of the Philippines who grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and played at USC, made four birdies on the back nine in a 67 and is in a big tie for sixth with Brendon Todd, who had three birdies on each nine; Kevin Mitchell, who birdied four of his first five holes; Aaron Baddeley of Australia, who made eagles on the fifth and 14th holes; Chez Reavie, who made two of his five bridies down the stretch; Ryan Palmer, who, birdied three of the last five holes, and Hayden Springer, who had seven birdies.

Fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State made three straight birdies on the front nine in a 68 and is in a tie for 13th that includes two-time PGA Tour champion Justin Thomas, who birdies his last two holes, while defending champion Taylor Moore birdied three of the first six holes in a 69 and is tied for 28th, and eighth-ranked Brian Harman is tied for 48th at 70.

For complete results and second-round tee times, visit:   

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