Duncan resident Matt Bettencourt on Thursday looked more like the former PGA Tour winner that he is than someone who’s 183rd on this year’s money list.
Peter Tomasulo looked like anything but a player fighting to keep his tour card.
Bettencourt and Tomasulo each shot 5-under par 67s Thursday to earn the surprising lead after the first round of the Texas Open, holding off a field that includes world No. 2 Rory McIlroy.
They took advantage of warmer and calmer afternoon conditions and held a one-stroke lead over a group of four players — including three-time major winner Padraig Harrington — at 4-under.
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Harrington and Billy Horschel shared the lead following the morning tee times, battling chilly and windy conditions. They were joined by Bryce Molder and Harris English at 4 under in the afternoon.
McIlroy, who entered the tournament as a final opportunity to prep for next week’s Masters, opened with an even-par 72 and is tied for 45th.
Bettencourt made the tournament as an alternate after Henrik Stenson withdrew.
The former Reno-Tahoe Open winner needed 25 putts while playing after the temperature warmed considerably and the wind eased off in the afternoon.
Two share Nabisco lead
At Rancho Mirage, Calif., playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Pettersen and Choi had bogey-free rounds of 4-under 68 at Mission Hills.
Three tied in Brasil.
At Sao Paulo, Richard S. Johnson, Danny Lee and Tom Hoge each shot 6-under 65s to tie for the lead after the first round of the Brasil Classic on the Web.com Tour.