Dietsche Leads at PGA Pro-Championship

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LAKE OCONEE, Ga. -- Paul Dietsche shot a 6-under 66 on the Reynolds Landing course Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Scott Hebert after the first round of the PGA Professional National Championship.
 
The 43-year-old Dietsche, the head pro at Arrowhead Country Club in San Bernardino, Calif., had nine birdies and a triple bogey on the par-4 15th.
 
I tried to block out the hole from my mind, but the one mistake I made was at 15, Dietsche said. I hit the tee shot a little right and there was a tree that I was trying to cut the ball around. The ball hit the false front and came down in front of the green. I had a decent lie and tried not to be greedy and play it long of the hole, but it rolled back and gave me a bad lie and I rolled it all the way back again.
 
Hebert, a 39-year-old from Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Michigan, had a bogey-free round at Reynolds Landing.
 
David Long had the best round on the Great Waters course, a 68 that left him tied for third with Terry Hatch, Ryan Benzel, Curt Sanders, Sonny Skinner, Craig Hock and Vince Jewell. Defending champion Chip Sullivan had a 75 at Reynolds Landing.
 
Dietsche needed just 26 putts.
 
I have been hitting the ball well recently but I have been putting the ball terrible so this wasnt expected, Dietsche said. But, I picked up a new putter at the Titleist van this week and it feels so comfortable and I made a whole lot of putts to show for it. The putter just seems to line up with my eyes really good. Whatever I was seeing out there seemed to work.
 
The top 20 finishers will get spots in the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in August. The winner will earn $75,000 and also receive an exemption into the next five PGA Professional National Championships, a spot on the 2009 PGA Cup Team and exemptions into six PGA Tour events over a 12-month period.