Omaha, NE – Luke Guthrie, who lost a playoff last week, fired a 9-under 62 Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the Cox Classic.
Guthrie was joined in the lead by Bubba Dickerson and Aaron Goldberg.
Jim Herman is alone in fourth at Champions Run at minus-8, while Nate Smith, Russell Henley and Fabian Gomez share fifth at 7-under 64.
Guthrie fell to Ben Kohles in a playoff last week in Ohio, but came out on fire on Thursday. Starting on the 10th, Guthrie poured in four consecutive birdies to open his round.
He stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 14th, but came right back with a birdie on No. 15. Guthrie closed his first nine holes with birdies on 17 and 18 to make the turn at 6-under.
Guthrie, in just his fifth professional start, faltered to a double-bogey at the first, but came back with birdies on two and four to return to minus-6. He closed his round with three birdies in his final four holes to post 62.
"I looked at the scores from last year and saw the winning score was around 20-under. In college, I liked the courses that were a good, hard test of golf, where par is a good score," Guthrie said. "Obviously, you have to go really low out here. If you shoot 1- or 2-under around here, you can get passed in a hurry."
Dickerson parred his first three holes before running off five consecutive birdies from the 13th. After four more pars, the 2001 U.S. Amateur champion eagled the short par-4 fourth.
Dickerson got to minus-8 with a birdie on No. 5. He birdied the eighth to grab a share of the lead, but missed a short birdie putt on the ninth for 61.
"The longer you go without making a birdie, the tougher it is to be patient," Dickerson admitted. "I've played here long enough to know scores would be low. You wait for your run."
Goldberg, a 3-time winner on the Canadian Tour in 2010, was in the group after Dickerson. Goldberg birdied the 10th, but parred his next four holes. After birdies on 15 and 16, he tripped to a bogey on the par-5 17th.
The 27-year-old Californian dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts from the first and again from the fourth. Goldberg birdied the seventh to move to minus-7. He closed with a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-4 ninth to share the first-round lead.
"Regardless of the course, you still have to hit good golf shots and make good putts. Out here, this week, you have to make more putts,Goldberg explained.
NOTES: Guthrie's 12 birdies in the first round matched the tour record for birdies in a single round...Kohles shot 6-under 65 and is tied for eighth.