Palmer Takes Early Lead At Colonial

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Ryan Palmer opened with an 8-under 62 to take a one-stroke lead over John Rollins following the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Both players are Colonial Country Club members.

Palmer’s 62 equals his career-low round on the PGA TOUR. It was his fifth 62 on TOUR and second of the season (R4/Waste Management Phoenix Open/finished 5th). Palmer is making his 10th start at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He cracked the top 10 for the first time a year ago, finishing T5.

The lowest opening-round score at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is 8-under 62 (Ryan Palmer/2013, David Toms/2011, Chez Reavie/2011 and Patrick Sheehan/2005). Palmer’s 62 on Thursday fell one shy of the tournament record of 61, set on six occasions and most recently by Chad Campbell in 2004 (R2).

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This marks the 11th straight year a round of 64 or better has led after day one.

In the previous 65 playings of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 17 times. Dating to 1989, just four first-round leaders have gone on to win the event (Ian Baker-Finch in 1989, Steve Stricker in 2009, David Toms in 2011 and Zach Johnson), with three of those coming in the last four years.

In 10 previous starts at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Rollins’ best finish is T24 (2007). He owns just three made cuts at the event, with the others coming in 2002 (T48) and 2009 (T71). Rollins’ 63 equals his low-opening round on the PGA TOUR (2010 McGladrey Classic/finished T12) and falls just one shy of his low round on TOUR (62, R2, 2009 Reno-Tahoe Open).

Zach Johnson opened with a 1-under 69 as he seeks to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win back-to-back Colonials, with Hogan performing the feat twice (1946-47 and 1952-53).

A year ago, Johnson’s final-round 2-over 72 snapped a streak of 15 consecutive rounds in the 60s at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, dating to a first-round 69 in 2009. He began a new streak on Thursday with a 69.

Johnson has four-consecutive top-10 finishes and has never finished outside of the top 30 in seven previous starts at the Colonial: 2012/1st, 2011/4th, 2010/1st, 2009/T9, 2006/T30, 2005/T26, 2004/T14.

Fresh off of his first-career top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR (T5/HP Byron Nelson Championship), rookie Morgan Hoffman recorded a career-low 6-under 64 in his 17th career start on TOUR.

Matt Kuchar has never missed a cut in six starts at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (T36-2007, 9-2008, T27- 2009, T56-2010, T16-2011, T26-2012). He opened on Thursday with a 5-under 65.

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