Published April 10, 2014
Leon, Mexico – Leon, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Thomas and Brad Schneider fired matching 6-under 66s Thursday to share the lead after the opening round of the El Bosque Mexico Championship.
Thomas is coming off his second fifth-place finish of the season at last week's Chitimacha Louisiana Open, while Schneider's best finish of the year was a tie for 12th at the Brasil Champions in March.
Nathan Green carded a 5-under 67 to sit alone in third place. Sebastian Vazquez shot a 4-under 68 to own sole possession of fourth at El Bosque Golf Club.
Former Web.com Tour winners Brett Wetterich, Roger Tambellini, Casey Wittenberg and Nick Flanagan are among 12 players tied for fifth place at 3- under 69.
Schneider opened his bogey-free round with a birdie at the 10th. After parring his next three holes, he reached 2-under with another gain at the 14th.
He later birdied the 17th before recording an eagle at the 18th to reach 5- under at the turn.
Schneider moved to the top of the leaderboard with a birdie at the fifth and parred his final four holes to end at minus-6.
"I just need to keep hitting it the way I am," said Schneider. "My putting is there."
Thomas, meanwhile, was playing alongside Schneider and also birdied the 10th. He later rolled in consecutive birdies at the 15th and 16th, and again at the 18th and first to move to 5-under.
A birdie at the third moved him to minus-6 and he moved two clear of Schneider with an eagle at the eighth, but he tripped to a double-bogey 6 at the ninth to fall back to 6-under.
"Anytime you shoot 6-under in the first round of a tournament you can't be to upset," Thomas said. "It was a pretty good double considering where I was on my fourth shot."
Green posted the best score in the afternoon wave to pull into contention.
The Australian quickly reached red numbers with back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th, but gave those shots right back with bogeys at the 13th and 15th.
Green birdied the 17th to make the turn at 1-under before reeling off three straight birdies from the second to meet Vazquez at 4-under. Green birdied the eighth to pull within one of the leaders and closed with a par to end at minus-5.
Vazquez countered a bogey and double-bogey with a pair of eagles and three birdies to finish two strokes off the pace.
NOTES: Vazquez is also in the group with Thomas and Schneider ... Aaron Goldberg recorded a hole-in-one at the 12th ... Thomas is holding the first- round lead for the second time this season ... Schneider has the first-round lead for the first time in his career ... Green has missed the cut in all three of his starts this season ... D.J. Trahan withdrew during the first round.