Ryan Vermeer shot a 6-under 66 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Assistant Championship.

The 34-year-old Vermeer, a PGA apprentice at Oak Hills Country Club in Omaha, Neb., had seven birdies and one bogey in his morning round on PGA Golf Club's Wanamaker Course.

Bobby Pancratz, PGA assistant professional at The Golf Club of Scottsdale in Arizona, was second. Two-time defending champion Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., shot a 74.