La Quinta, CA – Canadian Justin Shin fired an 8-under 64 on Thursday and took a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Shin, who played the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Thursday, played three PGA Tour Canada events in 2013 and missed the cut in two of them.
Chris Epperson, who played the TPC Stadium Course, carded a 7-under 65 in round one. He was joined in second place by Jonathan Fricke, Carlos Sainz, Jr. and Jason Millard, who all played the Nicklaus Course in round one.
Nathan Tyler and Chris Parra share sixth place at 6-under 66, while Darron Stiles and Josh Broadaway are among seven players that are tied for seventh at minus-5.
Shin played the back nine first and started with three pars in a row. He then caught fire, draining four straight birdie chances from the 13th.
After five pars in a row, Shin birdied the fourth and sixth to move to minus-6. He followed with an eagle on the par-5 seventh before closing with a pair of pars.
"I never thought I would shoot 64," Shin stated. "My plan was to try and shoot 2 or 3-under today. I missed a lot of greens, but my chipping and putting helped me out in some tough situations.
"A lot of good players go straight to the PGA Tour, but if you play the Web.com Tour you can improve your game and I think you have a chance to stay on the PGA Tour longer. I like this system more."
Epperson and Millard both had bogey-free rounds with seven birdies. Sainz and Fricke both posted eight birdies and a lone bogey in their rounds of 65.
Todd Hamilton and Peter Lonard are former PGA Tour winners that are in the field this week. Hamilton, the 2004 British Open champion, managed a 1-over 73. Lonard, the 2005 Heritage winner, posted a 1-under 71.
NOTES: This is the first time Q School finals only give players access to the Web.com Tour. It used to get the top finishers their PGA Tour cards ... The medalist this week earns fully exempt status, while the remainder of the field falls into different parts of the priority rankings.