Wednesday, December 02, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH , Fla. (AP) — Troy Merritt shot a 5-under 67 to lead a field of 170 players after the first round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Merritt had four birdies during a five-hole stretch on the back nine on the Links Course at Bear Lakes Country Club. He had a one shot lead over Jay Williamson.

Ty Harris, Billy Horschel and Andrew Buckle were another shot back after 3-under 69s on Wednesday.

The top 25 finishers and ties after the six-round tournament will earn cards for 2010, with roughly 50 more earning fully exempt status for the Nationwide Tour.

Other notable first-round scores included David Duval with 71, Jesper Parnevik at 73, Tim Herron at 74 and former British Open champion Todd Hamilton at 76.

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