LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bob May shot a 9-under 63 at TPC Summerlin on Thursday to top the leaderboard after the first round of the Frys.com Open.
Jason Gore finished with an 8-under 63 on the nearby par-71 TPC The Canyons.
May, who lives in Las Vegas, is using a belly putter for the second straight week after spending a couple of months practicing with it. He was finally persuaded by family and friends to try it out in competition, calling it a “radical change.”
“I have been hitting the ball well but haven’t been scoring,” said May, noting that his improved putting is making a difference. “It’s nice to finally get a good round under my belt. Who knows what could happen this week.”
Gore will play the Summerlin course Friday and May at Canyons, then everyone will tee off at Summerlin for the final two rounds this weekend.
Jeff Overton, D.J. Trahan, Cameron Beckman and Rich Beem were two strokes back, all but Beem (64 at Canyons) sitting at 65 after playing their rounds at Summerlin. The Pro-Am event is missing the star power of other more high-profile tournaments, with many players here balancing the temptation of fun and nightlife in Sin City with the need to be focused on moving up the money list late in the year. This is the fourth of seven Fall Series tournaments.
“We’re in Vegas,” Gore said, chuckling. “If you can’t have fun here … this is the place. This is not a high-stress week for me. I got here on Saturday and got Vegas out of my system.”
With the dry air and playing at just below 900 meters (3,000 feet) in elevation, the conditions were ideal for long drives.
May, who has finished no higher than 41st in 12 previous events this year, eagled No. 3 and also the 341-yard, par-4 15th on Thursday after starting the day with a bogey.
Gore made 10 birdies, using former Canyons pro Mike Messner as his caddie.
“I’d just basically stand over to the side of the green and scratch my head and wait for him to tell me where to hit it,” Gore said.