Going Low in Louisiana

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Nationwide TourBROUSSARD, La. -- Brett Wetterich and Ken Duke shot 10-under-par rounds of 62 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Louisiana Open.
 
The pair was one stroke off of the course-record 61 in this the first Nationwide Tour event in the United States this season. The tour had played its first two events in South Australia and New Zealand.
 
Rob McKelvey is one shot behind the duo at 9-under-par 63 as these three players paced a field full of low scores. During the opening round, 124 of the 144 players entered shot rounds of par or better with a scoring average of 69.486, by far the lowest of the young season.
 
Wetterich broke his previous personal-best of 7-under-par 63, which he set at the Greater Hartford Open. He began his round on the back nine of Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club with a birdie at the 10th hole.
 
The 29-year-old played especially well on the par-5s, birdieing all five of them beginning with Nos. 12 and 14. Wetterich continued his roll with consecutive birdies from the 16th to make the turn at minus-5.
 
'I birdied all the par-5s and made all the putts I should have made,' said Wetterich. 'I knew when I turned at minus-5 on the front, I could have a good round.'
 
Around the turn, Wetterich birdied the par-5 first. He then collected back-to-back birdies starting at the par-3 fourth.
 
He continued his dominance of the par-5s with a birdie at the seventh, the final par-5 of his round. Wetterich closed his career low round of 62 with a birdie at the par-4 ninth.
 
'I tried to attack everything, especially the par-5s,' said Wetterich. 'I saw 10-under before I started so I knew I had to go low.'
 
Duke started with a birdie at the par-5 first and carded back-to-back birdies from the fifth to move to 3-under. Duke capped his opening nine with a six-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth.
 
The 34-year-old, who has made just five cuts in 25 Nationwide Tour starts, caught fire on the back nine. He recorded three straight birdies from the 10th to move to minus-7.
 
'I knew I had something going after the birdies on Nos. 9-12,' said Duke. 'I got the putter hot today.'
 
After a par at the 13th, Duke birdied the par-5 14th and then holed out for eagle from 154 yards at the par-4 15th. He notched another birdie at the 16th to move to minus-11 and had a chance to shoot the magical number of 59 but three-putted for bogey at the 17th.
 
'I knew if I birdied 17 and 18 I would shoot 59, so I wasn't thinking about the course record, but records are made to be broken,' said Duke. 'I knew there are always low numbers here because there is not much rough. There are five par-5s, so if you don't get those, you're going to be passed.'
 
Robin Freeman, Tom Carter and Barry Cheesman share fourth place at 8-under-par 64. Brian Kamm, Scott Sterling, Omar Uresti, Bo Van Pelt and Stephen Allan are one stroke behind that trio at minus-7.
 

Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Louisiana Open
  • Full coverage of the Louisiana Open