Ryan Palmer opened his account in the Byron Nelson Championship with a bogey-free 6-under-par 64 to take a one-shot lead over German Alex Cejka and Australian Mark Leishman into the second round.
Palmer seems to really enjoy this event; he lost last year’s Nelson title to Keegan Bradley after finding the water with his drive on the first extra hole. He will be hoping for one better this year.
“It’s great to be in this spot again,” Palmer said.
“Continuation from last year, that’s what’s cool about the whole thing. I knew everything was going in the right direction. It was a matter of putting it all together at once.”
Palmer was disappointed at hooked tee shots on his last four holes but salvaged pars on them all.
“That’s what the short game is there for and fortunately it was good,” said Palmer.
Leishman shot up the leaderboard on the back nine thanks to eagles on the par-4 11th and par-5 16th.
“On 11, I was trying to drive it up toward the right bunker, pulled it a little bit, right in front of the green about 10-foot off the edge, easy chip, (30-feet) down grain,” Leishman said.
“On 16, I think about 245 (yards), hit a 2-iron to about 8 feet, easy putt, straight up, rolled that in and it was a good day.”
Cejka also went bogey-free and closed strongly to share second, making making a run of four birdies in five holes starting at the par-3 13th and ending at the par-3 17th.
“I played pretty solid, kept the ball in the fairways and gave myself a lot of chances,” Cejka said. “I had actually a good back nine, where I made a couple of good birdies, so I’m pleased with the start.”