Sports

Sean O'Hair headed in the right direction, opens with 5-under 66 at Innisbrook

  • John Peterson takes a divot as he hits out of the rough on the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    John Peterson takes a divot as he hits out of the rough on the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Derek Ernst blasts from a fairway bunker on the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    Derek Ernst blasts from a fairway bunker on the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kevin Na hits from the rough along the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    Kevin Na hits from the rough along the 11th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)  (The Associated Press)

Sean O'Hair says his game is going in the right direction, and a 5-under 66 gave him more evidence Thursday in Valspar Championship.

He made eight birdies — four of them on the par 3s — in pleasant conditions for his lowest score in the opening round since Las Vegas in October 2013.

He was one shot ahead of Henrik Stenson, Justin Thomas and Derek Ernst, whose game has been on the skids since his lone victory at Quail Hollow two years ago.

O'Hair won at Innisbrook in 2008.

Stenson is playing the Copperhead course at Innisbrook for the first time. He struggled on the range under the lights Thursday morning, and then made enough birdies early to post a 67.

Ernie Els was among those at 69.