Starting his round on the back nine, O'Hern birdied the 17th hole to spark a run of six birdies in a seven-hole stretch. The Aussie needed only 23 putts to complete his round at CordeValle, one that included nine birdies against no bogeys. Despite missing five cuts in his last seven starts entering the week, O'Hern now finds himself in position to claim his first career PGA Tour title.
Having just helped Europe to retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah, Nicolas Colsaerts opened with a 6-under 65 and sits in second place alongside Jhonnatan Vegas, three shots behind O'Hern. Colsaerts is currently 120th on the conditional PGA Tour money list, and will look to remain inside the top 125 in order to earn his Tour card for 2013 as he seeks to have full-time membership on both major tours next year.
Fresh off a third-place finish last week in Las Vegas, Jonas Blixt maintained his momentum with a bogey-free 66 Thursday and will begin Friday's second round tied for fourth. The Swede continues to make a late-season run at Rookie of the Year honors, seeking his fifth top-10 finish in his last nine starts.
At 125th on the official money list, Jeff Maggert enters this week's event as the dreaded 'bubble boy.' His effort to move off the bubble and secure playing status for 2013 began well Thursday, as Maggert opened with a 4-under 67 - his lowest round on Tour since The Greenbrier Classic.
Along with Maggert in a group at 4-under after Thursday's opening round is 2010 Frys.com Open champion Rocco Mediate. Historically plagued by back injuries, Mediate is still looking for his first top-20 finish on Tour since winning at CordeValle two years ago.