Palmer fires 62, grabs early lead at Colonial


With calm conditions Thursday, several players were able to thrive amid the narrow confines of Colonial Country Club. Here's the skinny heading into the second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational, where local resident Ryan Palmer holds a one-shot lead:

The leaderboard: Ryan Palmer (-8), John Rollins (-7) Morgan Hoffmann (-6), David Hearn (-6), Graham DeLaet (-6), Matt Kuchar (-5), Jordan Spieth (-5)

What it means: Birdies were flying early and often in Fort Worth, as light breezes meant that players were able to attack Colonial's narrow targets. None did better Thursday than Palmer, a member at the club who shot 62 on the PGA Tour for the fifth time in his career.

Round of the day: Palmer put his vast local knowledge to work in the opening round, hitting 12/14 fairways and 14/18 greens in regulation while matching the lowest opening-round score in tournament history. Sparked by four straight birdies on holes 14-17, Palmer made the most of accurate iron play Thursday, holing five of his eight birdie putts from inside seven feet.

Best of the rest: Like Palmer, Rollins lives in nearby Colleyville and used the familiar setting to his advantage. The three-time PGA Tour champion carded birdies on three of his first four holes Thursday, then added five more back-nine birdies while dropping just a single shot at the par-4 12th. He'll begin the second round just one shot off the pace, in search of his ninth top-25 – but first top-10 – finish of the 2013 season.

Biggest disappointment: After struggling to a 6-over 76 Saturday in Dallas that resulted in an MDF finish, Vijay Singh was unable to get things back on track Thursday in Fort Worth. The Fijian stumbled to a 4-over 76 on a day when most players were below par, and for the second consecutive competitive round failed to record a single birdie.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the low scores continue? Twelve players were able to shoot 65 or better during Thursday's opening round, a scoring trend that is likely to even out as conditions get firmer and faster this weekend. Palmer appears poised to cash in on his local knowledge, but plenty of other players with local ties remain in contention, including Rollins and Spieth, a former Texas Longhorn.

Shot of the day: Playing in the afternoon wave, Charlie Wi made the turn at a modest 1 under after starting on the back nine. His round received a jolt, though, when he made an eagle at the par-4 second hole, his 11th of the day. The former Cal standout split the middle of the fairway and had just 105 yards for his approach, which promptly found the bottom of the cup.

Quote of the day: 'This is the one tournament I gear up for the most. If I get in the four majors, this tournament will be the most meaningful to me to be on that wall on the first tee.' – Palmer