Spieth Makes Dallas Return

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Australia’s Steven Bowditch set the pace in the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson, firing an 8-under-par 62 on Thursday at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

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Bowditch took a two-shot lead over the player ranked second in the PGA Tour’s season-long FedExCup standings, Jimmy Walker. The Texas resident shot a 64 to grab second place.

James Hahn and Ryan Palmer shared third place at 65.

Tom Gillis, John Merrick and Keegan Bradley were tied for fifth place at 66. Thirteen players, including Dustin Johnson, were tied for ninth at 67.

Bowditch opened with five birdies on the front nine, then added three more in a bogey-free round on the soggy Las Colinas course.

“It was nice,” he said. “I got off to a pretty good start. I made a couple of putts early. From there, I sort of had some momentum, and I kept it in the fairways. That’s a big thing out here, being so wet, you really have to try to keep it in the fairways.

“I stayed aggressive and kept hitting drivers and getting them on the golf course. The greens are great for the amount of rain. They are soft, but you can still make some putts.”

Bowditch, 31, has only one other victory in the United States, and it also came in Texas. He captured last year’s Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

FedExCup standings leader Jordan Spieth, the Masters champion from nearly Dallas, shot a 69 and is tied for 33rd. He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation but failed to sink putts.

“Not a whole lot you can do with only two birdies in the round,” Spieth said.

Defending champion Brendon Todd is in danger of missing the cut after opening with a 72. He is tied for 108th.

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