Martin Laird of Scotland piled up points with eight birdies on Thursday to take the first-round lead of the Barracuda Championship.

Laird is familiar with high altitude at Montreux Golf and Country Club. He came over from Scotland to play at Colorado State, so the extra distance the golf ball flies was not much of an adjustment. His final birdie on the par-5 18th hole gave him 15 points, one point ahead of Gary Woodland, Camilo Villegas and Greg Chalmers.

The Barracuda Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system, with five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and deductions of one point for a bogey and two points for a double bogey or worst.

The top player not already eligible earns a spot in the British Open.