Three share PGA lead at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS:Tom Pernice, already a success on the Champions Tour, carded a bogey-free nine-under 62 to seize a share of the first-round lead at the USPGA Tour event at TPC Summerlin.

Pernice, 50, shared the lead in the $4.2 million tournament with Troy Matteson and Spencer Levin. Pernice’s nine birdies included back-to-back birdies at his closing holes, eight and nine. It continued a solid autumn for Pernice, who won his Champions Tour debut in September at the SAS Championship.

“I got off to a really good start, which was nice, and continued to have a really good round,” Pernice said. “Good, quality iron shots first really set it up. The iron shots really were the key. And the conditions are obviously perfect here.”

Levin notched seven birdies and an eagle to join the leading trio, while Matteson had 10 birdies and a bogey. Levin teed off on 10 and his eagle came at the 16th. He also nabbed birdies at eight and nine for his slice of the lead. Matteson rebounded from a bogey at 17 with a birdie at 18.

“When you’ve had nine birdies to that point, it’s a little easier when you make a mistake,” Matteson said. “When you have two birdies and you make a mistake, especially with the scores being as low as they are, that’s frustrating.” The leaders were one stroke in front of Scotland’s Martin Laird and American Bob Heintz.

Three-time Las Vegas winner Jim Furyk shook off two early bogeys to join Scott Piercy a further shot back on 64. “It was a slow start, but I don’t know if it was a rough start,” said Furyk, who played last week in America’s victorious Presidents Cup team. “You just have to stay patient. A lot of it is your mental frame. I was one-under par after eight holes today. I really got it going, making a nice birdie on 18. I then hit it close on one, two, three and four and was able to birdie those holes.”