Lebeck, a Monday qualifier, fired a career-best 11-under-par 61 at the Le Triomphe Country Club in Broussard, La., to take a five-stroke lead before play was called due to darkness in the first round of the Buy.Com Louisiana Open.
I dont know if there is any explanation as to how you can shoot 61, said Lebeck. Its just the putts are dropping. You get a few good breaks here and there. Things have to go your way.
This is the 28-year-olds fifth career Buy.Com start; and it appears it will be the first time he will qualify for weekend play. In 1999, Lebeck qualified for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst and managed to make the cut. Rounds of 74-70-78-76 earned the Portland, Ore., resident a share of 46th place and a check of $12,060.
The Boise State product birdied four of his first seven holes on Thursday, before recording his lone blemish, a bogey at the par-4 9th. Unfazed, Lebeck notched a remarkable eight birdies over his final nine holes.
For the round, Lebeck hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, taking only 23 putts in the process.
Lebecks back-nine 8-under-par 28 was just one shot shy of the Tour record, set by Notah Begay III in 1998, and then tied by Doug Dunakey in the same season; both men went on to shoot 59.
At 11-under, Lebeck is five clear of Tim ONeal and Brian Bateman, who each shot 6-under-par 66. Charles Raulerson was 6-under through 17 holes when officials called played at 6:02pm local time.
ONeal was the ultimate hard-luck story at last years PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. ONeal bogeyed the 17th hole on the final day, but still could have earned his card with a bogey at the last.
Instead, ONeal hit his tee shot into the hazard, took a drop, and hit a fairway woods into the bunker. He blasted out through the green on his fourth shot and had to hole his chip to qualify for the Tour. He missed and then missed the putt coming back to record a triple bogey.
Still, he earned full-exempt status on the Buy.Com Tour.
I know Im a rookie but I got a little bit of experience last year, even though it was only six events, said ONeal. I have very high goals and I just hope to play well. Im not here just trying to get by. I want to win.
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Louisiana Open