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Willis takes early lead in Tampa

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Garrett Willis is making good on a sponsor exemption in the Transitions Championship, where he opened with a 6-under 65 to take a two-shot lead among the early starters at Innisbrook.

Willis was disappointed to have not qualified for the tournament because he lives about 45 minutes away. He was awarded an invitation two weeks ago and performed well before family and friends.

He made five birdies on the back nine as a cool breeze began to strengthen and was two ahead of Jeff Maggert, Jonathan Byrd and defending champion Retief Goosen.

Maggert only got into the tournament as an alternate when Vijay Singh withdrew with a back injury.

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