Leonard shoots 64 at 'bomber's paradise'

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GAINESVILLE, Va. – Score another one for the short hitters.

Two weeks after Zach Johnson won the Open at St. Andrews, a course known to favor the long hitters, Justin Leonard made eight birdies and a bogey for a 64 at a soft and long Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, which Charlie Beljan said earlier this week was a "bomber's paradise."

"When I had opportunities to score and make birdies I took advantage of them," Leonard said.


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The 1997 Open champion only averages 270 yards off the tee, 10 yards fewer than Johnson, but he was able to go low Thursday on a course that he admits does not suit him.

"It's a little soft and a little long for me, but I seemed to handle it OK today," he said.

The 12-time PGA Tour winner and member of the 2005 U.S. Presidents Cup team that won here hasn't raised a trophy since the 2008 St. Jude, and this season hasn't been a lot of fun as Leonard's missed 14 cuts in 20 events.

"I'm happy to be here on a course I've got some fun memories running around here with a bunch of guys, and it seemed to pay off today," he said.