Rodriguez aces way to lead in Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS(SportsNetwork.com) - Propelled by a hole-in-one, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez fired an 8-under 63 on Thursday and he grabbed a 2-shot lead after the opening round of the inaugural Nova Scotia Open.
Rodriguez won twice on the PGA Tour Canada last year, but has missed the cut in six of his 12 Web.com Tour starts in 2014.
David Skinns, Aaron Goldberg and James Sacheck carded 6-under 65s at Ashburn Golf Club and they share second place.
Henrik Norlander and Chile Classic winner Adam Hadwin are one stroke back at minus-5, while Darron Stiles, Vaughn Taylor, Kevin Kim, Garrett Osborn, Josh Anderson, Roger Sloan, Joe Panzeri and Chase Wright are tied for seventh at 4- under 67.
Rodriguez got off to a flying start in round one. He birdied the second and fourth before carding a hole-in-one on the par-3 fifth.
The Mexican also birdied Nos. 7 and 9 en route to making the turn at minus-6. Around the turn, he stumbled to a bogey on the 11th, but he bounced right back with a birdie on the par-5 12th.
Rodriguez parred four in a row from the 13th. He made eagle at the par-5 17th before closing with a par at the last.
"I hit it very good and I had a lot of opportunities. In the last tournament, I hit it very good, but I didn't make the putts. Today. I made the putts," Rodriguez stated. "I hit it very good. I hit only one bad tee shot, No. 11, which was in the bushes."
Skinns started with back-to-back birdies at one and two. After a pair of pars, he poured in three consecutive birdies from the fifth to jump to minus-5.
He parred four in a row around the turn. Skinns got within one of the lead thanks to birdies at 12 and 16, but he closed with a bogey at the last to dip two behind.
"They're big and some of them are big with not many pin positions. There's a fair few out there with some unputtable putts," Skinns said of the greens. "You've really got to watch what you're doing with your second shots."
Goldberg drained three straight birdies from the second to quickly jump to minus-3. He traded a bogey for a birdie from the fifth and again from the eighth. Around the turn, he again made three birdies in a row, from the 12th to the 14th, to gain a piece of second place.
Sacheck had three birdies and a bogey on his opening nine. On the back nine, he birdied the 11th and 12th before stumbling to a bogey on the 13th. He birdied three of the last four holes to post 65.
NOTES: Mike Ballo was a late addition to the field to replace Garth Mulroy, but due to travel issues Ballo withdrew on Wednesday and was not replaced in the field as there were no other alternates ... There are 18 members of the PGA Tour Canada in the field this week.
07/03 21:17:30 ET