Power fires course-record 61 in North Carolina

Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Seamus Power fired a course-record, 10-under 61 Thursday and grabbed a 2-stroke lead after the opening round at the Rex Hospital Open.

Power's 61 broke the TPC Wakefield Plantation record of 62. Rob Bradley first set that mark in 2003 and was later tied by Scott Brown in 2010 and Andrew Putnam in 2013.

Power is coming off a tie for 10th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. That was his first top-20 finish of the season on the Web.com Tour.

Two-time winner Kyle Thompson is alone in second place at minus-8. Dominic Bozzelli is alone in third at 7-under 64.

Garth Mulroy, Dawie van der Walt, Travis Bertoni, David Vanegas and Oliver Goss share fourth place at minus-6. Scott Gutschewski, the 2008 champion, is one of 12 players tied for ninth at 5-under 66.

Power played the back nine first on Thursday and got off to a quick start with birdies at the 10th and 12th. Following a birdie on No. 14, Power parred three in a row.

The Irishman made the turn at minus-4 after converting a birdie at the 18th. He made it two in a row as he also birdied the first.

Power poured in three consecutive birdies from the third to jump to 8-under. After three more pars, he closed with a 4-foot eagle putt at the par-5 ninth.

"I think everything was decent. I actually missed a couple of short putts early on, but besides that, everything was nice," said Power. "I've been pretty close. It hasn't been too far off all year. It's been a little frustrating, but it's getting better."

Thompson got off to a slow start comparatively. He had one birdie and four pars in his first five holes. Birdies at the sixth and eighth helped him make the turn at minus-3.

The three-time Web.com Tour winner birdied the 10th and followed with a pair of pars. Thompson poured in four straight birdie chances from the 13th to soar into second place. He parred the final two holes to end there.

"I love the greens here and read them pretty well. I could putt these greens every week and do pretty good, I think," stated Thompson, the 2007 and 2011 winner. "On Tuesday, I made nine birdies and an eagle so I didn't play as well today. I can't explain why all of a sudden I shoot 8-under today. It's just a stupid game."

NOTES: Power, a tour rookie, has made the cut in four of his last five tour starts after missing four in a row to start the season ... Si Woo Kim had a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th ... After rain fell on Wednesday, lift-clean- and-place rules were used for round one.