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Martin breaks course record, leads Zurich Classic


Ben Martin surged into the spotlight last week in the RBC Heritage with a career-best equaling third-place tie. On Thursday he showed that was no fluke, shooting a course-record 10-under 62 in the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Here's how things stand after one round in Avondale, La.

Leaderboard: Ben Martin (-10), Andrew Svoboda (-8), Peter Hanson, Seung-Yul Noh (-7), Chad Collins, Erik Compton, Michael Thompson (-6), Stuart Appleby, Jeff Overton, Robert Streb (-5)

What it means: Martin, a 26-year-old former Clemson player, is looking for his first PGA Tour win. In addition to his T-3 at the RBC Heritage, he finished third last month at the Puerto Rico Open.

Round of the day: Martin made 10 birdies in his bogey-free round. He made six on the front nine, then added four on the back, including a 55-foot chip-in on the 17th hole. His 62 broke the TPC Louisiana course record of 64, which had been shot several times, most recently by Andrew Svoboda earlier Thursday.

Best of the rest: Svoboda, 34, played a quiet front nine, birdieing only two holes to turn in 34. But he caught fire on the back, with six birdies for a 30.

Biggest disappointment: Rickie Fowler, identified in some cormers as the pre-tournament favorite, shot a 3-over 75.

Main storyline heading into Friday: With relative unknowns at the top of the leaderboard, a more intriguing storyline lurks a few spots lower, where former world No. 1 David Duval is tied for 11th after a 68. Duval, who has vowed that this will be a make-or-break year for him, desperately needs a good finish.

Quote of the day: "I think sometimes you have to let the score come to you instead of you going after it." - Peter Hanson, after shooting a 7-under 65.