Herrera Sets Pace in Virginia

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Eduardo Herrera fired a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to grab the lead after the first round of the VB Open at the TPC of Virginia Beach.
 
Fran Quinn stands alone in second place after an opening 5-under-par 67. Omar Uresti, David Branshaw and Dan Pohl share third place one shot further back at minus-4.
 
Herrera, who recorded the only bogey-free round of the day, began his round on the back nine. He started slowly with birdies on 11 and the par-5 16th. After making the turn at minus-2, Herrera caught fire on the front side.
 
The Colombian rolled in his third birdie at the par-4 first from five feet out. He then made his move with back-to-back birdies from the par-4 fourth both from within six feet.
 
'I hit it in the right places and made some key putts today,' said Herrera, who has missed three cuts in four starts this season. 'I kept it in play and made my share of putts.'
 
Herrera again made two straight birdies starting at the seventh to grab a two- stroke advantage. He sank a 20-footer on seven and a 15-footer for birdie at the eighth to cap his round.
 
'I played the course on Tuesday during a practice round when it was the toughest, so everything else is downhill,' Herrera said. 'The five-footers I made for par were key.'
 
Quinn also started on No. 10. He stumbled out of the block with a bogey at his opening hole, but came right back with a eight-footer for birdie at the next. The two-time winner on tour got into red figures with another birdie at the par-5 12th.
 
He continued his roll with a birdie at the par-4 14th. However, he was unable to maintain the momentum. He bogeyed the 15th and missed a six-foot par save at 17 to drop back to even par for his round. Quinn atoned for those mistakes with a kick in birdie from two feet at the par-4 18th to make the turn at minus-1.
 
Around the turn, Quinn notched consecutive birdies from the fifth. He again made two straight birdies from the par-5 eighth to climb into second place.
 
'I took advantage of my birdie opportunities,' said Quinn. 'You've got to be pretty pleased with birdies on Nos. 9 and 18. They are probably the hardest holes on the course. You can't ask for anything more than that.'
 
Kyle Thompson, Bubba Watson, Josh Broadaway, Paul Claxton, John Elliott, Jeff Freeman, Hunter Haas, Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer each shot 3-under-par rounds of 67 to share sixth place.
 
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