Martin shoots 62, claims early lead in New Orleans
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Martin fired a course-record, 10- under 62 on Thursday to claim a 2-stroke lead after the opening round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Martin has made just two cuts in his last nine events, but finished in third place on both of those occasions.
"Everything was working well," Martin said about his round. "I felt like I was managing my game well and I was hitting shots where I was looking. I think (the wind) was a little bit of a factor, but when I was into the wind I played a little more conservative and I took advantage of the holes that were downwind."
Andrew Svoboda carded an 8-under 64 at TPC Louisiana to sit alone in second place, while Peter Hanson and Seung-Yul Noh shot matching 7-under 65s to share third.
Michael Thompson, Chad Collins and Erik Compton are tied for fifth place at 6- under 66.
Martin raced out of the gate with back-to-back birdies at the first and second, and then capped another pair of gains at the fourth and fifth with a putt from 27 feet.
He converted two more birdies from inside 10 feet at the seventh and eighth to make to turn at 6-under.
Martin stayed hot with consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th to meet clubhouse leader Svoboda at minus-8. He soon pulled ahead with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 13th.
His chances at shooting 59 went by the wayside with three straight pars from the 14th before he moved to 10-under with a chip-in birdie from 55 feet after missing the green at the par-3 17th.
He parred the last to close out his record-setting round.
"I got off to a good start and just kept it rolling," said Martin. "It was one of those days where it went just like you drew it up."
Svoboda opened his day with a 13-foot birdie at the first and later converted a short birdie at the eighth to reach 2-under.
He then caught fire around the turn, rolling in four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 10th, all of which came from inside six feet.
After parring the 15th and 16th, Svoboda birdied the 17th and 18th to end at 8-under.
Hanson posted six birdies, an eagle and a bogey to earn his share of third place, while Noh had seven birdies during his bogey-free round.
NOTES: The previous course record was 8-under 64 and was shared by nine people, including defending champion Billy Horschel ... Martin's previous low round on the PGA Tour was a 7-under 65 at the Humana Challenge in January ... The first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win in New Orleans in two of the last four years ... Horschel shot a 2-over 74 during his first round and sits in a tie for 114th place.
04/24 22:07:14 ET