New Orleans, LA – Ricky Barnes fired an 8-under 64 to grab a 1-shot lead over two players after one round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Barnes has struggled of late as he has missed the cut in seven of his last nine starts. That stretch came after he opened the year with a pair of top-20 finishes.
Boo Weekley and former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover share second place at minus-7 at TPC Louisiana.
D.A. Points and Morgan Hoffmann are tied for fourth place at 6-under 66. Defending champion Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler are part of a large group tied at minus-5.
Barnes, 32, got off to a quick start as he rolled in an 11-foot eagle putt on the second. He followed with a birdie on the fourth, but stumbled to a bogey at the sixth.
The former U.S. Amateur winner parred four in a row from the seventh. At the par-5 11th, Barnes chipped his third to three feet and knocked that in to get back to minus-3.
Barnes caught fire soon after. He birdied the 13th from eight feet out and followed with another 8-foot birdie putt on No. 14. Barnes converted a birdie chance from 12 feet at the 15th, then made it four in a row with a 4-foot birdie try on the 16th.
After a par at 17, Barnes drained an 8-foot birdie try to match the course record. That will not stand though as lift, clean and place rules were in effect on the wet course.
"I just haven't gotten off to good starts in the first couple of days. It seems like I'm always just chasing the cut," admitted Barnes. "At the end of the day, if you give us ball in hand out here, we're going to have a chance to go low. I knew you could attack the pins this morning because of the soft greens. But if you asked me if I thought I would tie a course record, no, I didn't think that when we went out this morning. But I've been working my (behind) off and it showed today."
Barnes, who became a father for the second time on Monday, hit all 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in the opening round. That was a huge improvement over his normal stats, as he ranks 151st on tour in fairways hit.
Weekley, like Barnes, eagled the second. Weekley then parred the next three holes before making birdie at the sixth and eighth to move to minus-4.
The Tampa Bay Championship runner-up birdied three of the last five holes to jump into a share of second place.
Glover played the back nine first on Thursday. He wrapped birdies at the 11th and 13th around a bogey on the 12th. Glover later birdied the 16th to head to the front nine at minus-2.
The 2009 U.S. Open champ poured in four consecutive birdies from the first to jump to 6-under.
Glover tripped to another bogey at the sixth, but came back with birdies on the eighth and ninth to finish at minus-7.
Tian-lang Guan mixed three birdies and three bogeys in a round of even-par 72.
NOTES: Barnes normally hits just under 56 percent of fairways ... In his last 22 rounds, Barnes had just one round in the 60s ... Weekley had made the cut in just two of his five starts at this event ... Glover has three top-10 finishes in his seven starts at this tournament ... Lift, clean and place rules were used after torrential rain soaked the course on Wednesday.