Peterson, Ellis share lead in Louisiana

John Peterson and Danny Ellis carded matching rounds of 6-under 65 on Thursday and they share the lead after the first round of the Louisiana Open.

Both players are winless on the Tour. Peterson has made the cut in his first three starts this year, while Ellis missed the cut in both of his previous starts.

Nick Flanagan, a four-time winner on the Tour, posted a 5-under 66. He was joined in third place at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club by Ben Martin and Ryan Spears.

D.J. Trahan and last year's Stadion Classic winner Hudson Swafford are among 15 players tied for sixth at minus-4.

Peterson started on the back nine and traded a birdie for a bogey from the 11th. He converted a birdie effort on the par-4 15th, then parred four in a row around the turn.

The 2011 NCAA Champion from LSU dropped in back-to-back birdie chances at two and three to move to minus-3. He birdied the next two par-5s, Nos. 5 and 7.

Peterson was the first into the clubhouse at 6-under as he closed his round with a birdie on the par-4 ninth, his last.

"Anytime you get to play in front of hometown fans it's always nice. This close to home is a treat," Peterson stated. "To be in a tournament this close, and a big tournament that means something is really cool."

Ellis also played the back nine first and he parred his first three holes. After a birdie on the 13th, he converted birdie tries at the 16th and 17th.

The 42-year-old birdied the first and third to move within one of the lead. However, he tripped to a bogey at the par-4 third.

Ellis, who tied for third here in 2005, erased that mistake with a birdie at the fifth. He also birdied the seventh to join Peterson in the lead.

"I just tried to keep it simple. This course plays fast all the time. It's kind of crucial that you get the ball in the fairway," said Ellis. "I wasn't trying to pick specific holes to try and make birdies. I just putted great today."

NOTES: This is the first time in 83 tour starts the Ellis has had a piece of the lead after any round ... Last week's winner Kevin Kisner opened with a 3- under 68 and is tied for 21st ... There are six former winners in the field and two-time champion Brett Wetterich is closest to the lead as he stands alongside Kisner at minus-3.