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Perez among quartet of early Valspar leaders

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With unusually chilly conditions and strong winds, low scores were hard to come by Thursday at Innisbrook. Here's how things look after the first round of the Valspar Championship, where Pat Perez is among four players tied for the lead:

Leaderboard: Pat Perez (-3), Matt Every (-3), Danny Lee (-3), Greg Chalmers (-3), Bill Haas (-2), Nicolas Colsaerts (-2), Robert Garrigus (-2), Michael Putnam (-2), James Hahn (-2), Tommy Gainey (-2), Matteo Manassero (-2)

What it means: With no one breaking away from the pack, a myriad of players still remain in the hunt after one round on the Copperhead Course. A total of 25 players are currently within two shots of the lead, and 11 players shot either a 68 or 69 during the first round. The four players tied at the top are hardly used to that position, as Perez is the only PGA Tour winner among the quartet. None of the four co-leaders are in the field for the Masters.

Round of the day: Perez opened with a bogey but quickly rebounded, notching birdies on each of the next two holes and three of the next seven. A runner-up earlier this year at Torrey Pines, Perez bookended his inward half with birdies and failed to drop a shot after No. 15, his sixth hole of the day. Still with three rounds to go, he's currently in position to add to his lone win on Tour at the 2009 Humana Challenge.

Best of the rest: Every started slowly, playing his first six holes in 1 over, but he caught fire on his second nine. Starting his round on No. 10, the former Florida Gator closed with birdies on three of his final four holes and had five total birdies during his round of 3-under 68. Like many on the early leaderboard, Every is still in search of his first PGA Tour win - and first trip to Augusta National.

Biggest disappointment of the day: Graham DeLaet is one of the Tour’s top ball-strikers, but the Canadian struggled Thursday. DeLaet carded only a single birdie en route to a 4-over 75, playing Nos. 13-16 in 4 over. DeLaet now sits seven shots off the pace, and with a crowded leaderboard he will need a solid round Friday simply to make it past the 36-hole cut.

Main storyline heading into Friday: It remains to be seen who will emerge from a crowded leaderboard, but plenty of players will be in contention with a Masters berth on the line. Of the 10 players currently at 2 under or better, only two (Haas and Manassero) already have reservations for Augusta next month, while six of the top 10 have yet to win on Tour. A number of notable names are among the group tied three shots back at even-par 71, including Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Jim Furyk.

Quote of the day: "I've played enough to know the first round doesn't matter much." - Every