Published January 13, 2015
Steven Alker and Hunter Haas fired matching 9- under 62s on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Boise Open.
The duo missed the course record at Hillcrest Country Club by one stroke.
Tim Wilkinson is alone in second place after shooting 63. Alex Prugh is one stroke back at minus-7.
Jason Gore, the 2002 champion, and Chad Collins are among 10 players tied for fifth place at minus-6.
Alker, who won the Utah Championship two weeks ago, started on the back nine and birdied the 11th, 14th and 16th to head to the front nine at minus-3.
Around the turn, he moved to 4-under with a birdie at No. 1. Alker followed with an eagle on the second. After making four consecutive pars, he birdied three in a row from the seventh to close out his round.
"You know scores are going to be low this week. I've got my blinkers on. I'm going to keep my head down and try to make as many birdies as I can," Alker explained. "It was a stress-free day. It's a funny game. I've really been patient the last month or two and I felt my swing was coming around. I started rolling the ball nice a few weeks ago and started making some putts. I think my ducks are in a row right now."
Haas, a four-time Web.com Tour winner, opened his round with three pars in a row from the 10th. He converted three birdie chances in a 4-hole span from the 13th. A birdie at the 18th sent Haas to the front side at minus-4.
The 2010 champion drained three straight birdies from the second to jump to 7- under. Haas birdied the sixth and ninth to gain a piece of the lead.
"It's the easiest I've seen it play. The greens are receptive and you're not afraid of running it through a fairway and into ankle-deep rough," Haas said of the course. "We don't have that here. In years past, if you missed a fairway, you were hoping to get it on the green."
NOTES: Haas and Alker matched the lowest opening round score in event history ... Haas' 62 was his career-low on the Web.com Tour ... Along with Haas and Gore, Fran Quinn is the third former winner in the field and he is tied for 100th at minus-1 ... Alker, who turns 42 on Sunday, carded a 61 in the third round in Utah en route to victory ... Jeff Klauk withdrew after the round.