At 8-under-par, he leads The Florida Classic by one shot over Rod Pampling and by two over Jason Hill.
Three shots off the pace are Heath Slocum and Ryuji Imada, while R.W. Eaks heads up a group of six players tied at 4-under.
Skinner birdied his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th, and never looked back, recording three more of the red numbers on his front nine, and three more on the back side. For the day, he did not make a single bogey.
For 2001, he is hoping that his luck at golf will continue to improve.
Skinner's resume on the Buy.Com Tour has been absent of victories since 1994 when he took the title at the Dominion Open. The year previous to that, in '93, he won at the Shreveport Open. During those two seasons, he also grabbed a pair of second-place finishes and a third.
Since that time, however, he has been unable to crack the top-5. He showed a bit of resurgence last season, however, finishing in the top-10 three times, and four more times in the top-20.
Following Thursday's 63, he is in fine position to kickstart 2001 in the right direction.
Waiting in the wings, however, is second year player Pampling.
Pampling is coming off a rather dismal 2000 season, missing the cut 16 times in the 24 events in which he competed. Yet, his opening round of 64, even despite a bogey at the par-4 15th, was his best score ever on the Buy.Com Tour.
Likewise, winner of the 2000 Virginia Beach Open, Ryuji Imada is but three shots off the pace thanks to a fine 67.
Defending champion Fran Quinn finished his round Thursday with a 2-under-par 70.
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