Sucher secures early lead at Mylan Classic

Zack Sucher shot 6-under-par 65 on Thursday to grab the lead after the opening round of the Mylan Classic.

Sucher, who is making his 14th Tour start and third of the season, mixed eight birdies and a pair of bogeys at Southpointe Golf Club. He sits a stroke ahead of United Leasing Championship winner Ben Martin, local favorite Steve Wheatcroft, Guy Boros, Billy Hurley III, Chad Collins and Whee Kim, who all carded 66s.

"I've been fighting to get some starts," said Sucher, who has no status on any tour. "I've been traveling all over the country trying to get in. Mondays are tough. You're never sure what you're going to get and a lot of times you have to shoot 66 or better just to make it."

Cliff Kresge, Franklin Corpening, Blayne Barber and Dustin Garza share eighth place after opening-round 67s, while Vince Covello, Jeff Klauk, Kevin Kim, Fernando Mechereffe, Brad Elder, I. J. Jang, Andy Pope and Peter Malnati are tied for 12th at 3-under-par 68.

Sucher, who shared second at the South Georgia Classic in April, set the early pace as part of the morning wave off the first tee.

The University of Alabama-Birmingham product opened with a birdie, but promptly gave that shot back with a bogey at the par-4 second. He rebounded with back-to-back birdies from the third, then bogeyed the fifth to fall back to 1-under.

Sucher steadied himself with three straight pars from the sixth and was masterful from there.

The 26-year-old birdied five of his final 10 holes, beginning with a gain at the par-4 ninth.

Around the turn, he alternated birdies and pars over his first five holes, then reached 6-under with a gain at the par-4 17th. He parred the last to remain there and his lead held through the remainder of Day 1.

"I drove it well and if you drive it in the fairway you can make some birdies," Sucher stated. "It could have been a few better but it was pretty stress-free."

Martin, who is making his first visit to Southpointe Golf Club, has posted four top-6 finishes in his past five starts, including his playoff win at the United Leasing Championship.

The 25-year-old Clemson University product opened with a pair of pars from the 10th tee before stumbling to a bogey at the 12th. He didn't drop a shot the rest of the way, picking up three birdies during an outward 34.

He parred four in a row around the turn, then birdied the par-3 fifth to reach minus-3. After two more pars, Martin closed with back-to-back birdies to end one shot off Sucher's pace.

NOTES: Sucher's runner-up at the South Georgia Classic was his best finish on the Tour this season ... Wheatcroft grew up in nearby Washington, Pa ... Tour money leader Michael Putnam is tied for 116th place at 4-over-par 75. He has won twice this season (Mexico Championship and Mid-Atlantic Championship) and can earn instant promotion to the PGA Tour with a third win ... There are just four events remaining before the top 25 on the regular- season money list receive PGA Tour cards, with the top 75 earning spots in the finals ... The honorary chairman for this tournament is golf legend Arnold Palmer, who grew up in Latrobe, Pa., and still spends time in the area, where he owns and operates Latrobe Country Club.