Anderson, Loupe share lead in Panama

Mark Anderson and Andrew Loupe both carded 6-under 64s Thursday and share a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Panama Claro Championship.

Anderson played a full season on the PGA Tour last year, but was unable to keep his card. Loupe has played seven Tour events over the last two years and made the cut in four of them.

James Nitties carded a 5-under 65 at Club de Golf de Panama and was joined in third place by Peter Tomasulo and Dae-Hyun Kim.

Scott Harrington, Chris Wilson and Kevin Foley are one stroke further back at minus-4.

Anderson, who was in the first group out, played the front nine first. He opened with a birdie at the first, but gave that stroke right back with a bogey at the second. He caught fire from there.

The 27-year-old birdied the third to get back into red figures. Anderson followed with four consecutive birdies from the fourth to jump to minus-5.

Anderson also birdied the ninth to turn at 6-under. He picked up another birdie at the 12th, but stumbled to a bogey on No. 16. Anderson parred the final two holes.

"On the front nine, I made everything. Putts from all over the greens, from 10 to 30 feet. When that starts happening, you just let it roll," Anderson stated. "There's no need to second-guess your lines and figure out your speed."

Loupe started on the back nine and ran off three straight birdies from the 11th. After a trio of pars, Loupe birdied the 17th to make the turn at minus-4.

The 24-year-old faltered to a bogey at the second. Loupe responded with back- to-back birdies at four and five. He rolled in his final birdie of the day at the par-4 seventh.

"I worked hard on my game during the offseason. I put in a lot of time on my game and in the gym to get ready for this year. It's an honor to be out here on this tour," Loupe stated. "Hopefully, there won't be anymore Monday qualifying out here for me. I didn't take advantage of the chances I had last year. It's just nice to have a place to play."

NOTES: Anderson is the sixth player to shoot 29 on the front nine at this event ... Tomasulo, Kim and Clodomiro Carranza had the only bogey-free rounds ... There are three former major champions in the field this week -- Rich Beem (67), Todd Hamilton (69) and Shaun Micheel (73) ... Defending champion Edward Loar is tied for 71st at 2-over 73.