Peter Hanson made his only back-nine birdie with a 6-foot putt at the 18th hole Thursday, closing out a 5-under 65 for a 1-stroke lead over David Duval and two others after the first round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas.
Duval, ranked 890th in the world 15 years after being No. 1, birdied his last three holes — Nos. 7-9 — after pitching in from 57 feet for another birdie at the fifth hole. He’s winless since the 2001 British Open.
Marc Leishman and Tim Wilkinson matched Duval at 66.
The 42-year-old Duval almost withdrew before the round because of a muscle issue in his right elbow that made it painful to hit balls and practice this week. About a half-hour before teeing off, he still wasn’t sure that he was going to play because his arm was hurting again.
Martin Kaymer, the Players Championship winner Sunday, was among eight players at 67.
Hanson made the turn at 5 under after shooting 30 on the front side. The Swede couldn’t keep up the pace on the back nine at TPC Four Seasons that he hadn’t played before Thursday because of travel issues and a sore back. All six of Hanson’s birdie putts were inside 10 feet.
Jordan Spieth had to birdie two of his last three holes for an even-par 70 at the course where he made the cut as an amateur at ages 16 and 17. Spieth, now 20 and the eighth-ranked player in the world, had a double-bogey 6 after driving into the water at No. 3, his 12th hole.
Azahara Munoz and Austin Ernst had strong finishes to share the first-round lead in the Kingsmill Championship at 6-under 65. The former NCAA individual champions completed their morning rounds on the front nine at Kingsmill’s River Course in Virginia, with Munoz birdieing four of her last seven holes, and Ernst closing with birdies on No. 7 and 9.
Munoz had a bogey-free round, saving par with a 10-foot putt on the par-3 second — her 11th hole — after hitting into a greenside bunker. The Spaniard lost a playoff to Paula Creamer in Singapore in March when Creamer made a 75-foot eagle putt on the second extra hole.
Ernst, the 2011 NCAA winner at LSU, rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 first with an eagle on the par-5 third, hitting a 6-iron from 182 yards to 10 feet on the downwind hole.
Heavy rain was expected overnight and this morning, likely delaying second-round play.
South Korea’s Hee Young Park shot 66.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Lydia Ko, both in position to take the top spot in the world ranking from Inbee Park, each shot 70. Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory or a solo second-place finish, as long as Ko doesn’t win. Ko needs a victory to move to No. 1. Park is skipping the tournament.
Jay Haas, Mark Calcavecchia, Olin Browne and Chien Soon Lu shared the first-round lead at 3-under 69 in the Regions Tradition, the first of the 50-and-over tour’s five majors. Shoal Creek in Alabama absorbed more than an inch of rain heading into Thursday and the players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls.
England’s Eddie Pepperell shot a 4-under 68 to take a 1-stroke lead over Spanish stars Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez and six others in the Spanish Open. Garcia is coming off a third-place finish Sunday in the Players Championship. He won the 2002 tournament at El Cortijo and has five European Tour victories in Spain. The 50-year-old Jimenez finished fourth in the Masters and won the Greater Gwinnett Championship the following week in his Champions Tour debut. American Peter Uihlein also was in the group at 69 at PGA Catalunya Resort.