Riley Grabs Early Lead on Nationwide

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Nationwide TourBROUSSARD, La. - Former U.S. Ryder Cupper Chris Riley fired a 6-under-par 65 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after one round of the Louisiana Open at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.
 
'Club pro David Church has always been nice and allowed me to come out here and practice,' said Riley, who grew up nearby and played collegiately at Louisiana State. 'I play out here all the time when I'm visiting the in-laws.'
 
Jeff Klauk is alone in second place at minus-5. Travis Perkins and Andrew Dresser are one shot back at 4-under-par 67.
 
Riley opened his round with a birdie on the first and moved to minus-2 with a 20-foot birdie putt on the fourth.
 
The 34 year old connected on back-to-back birdies from the seventh to jump to 4-under. Around the turn, Riley sank a birdie putt on the 10th.
 
Riley made it two in a row as his 15-foot birdie effort on 11 found the bottom of the cup. He slipped back to 5-under with a bogey on the 14th, but atoned for that mistake with a birdie on 15.
 
'It was definitely an advantage teeing off early today,' said Riley, who won the Showdown at Somerby last year. 'We were able to play about four or five holes before the winds picked up. I've always seemed to play pretty good in the wind.'
 
Klauk, who won the 2003 Wichita Open, played the back nine first. He birdied the par-5 12th and came right back to birdie the 13th.
 
After stumbling to a bogey on the 16th, Klauk responded with a birdie on 17. Around the turn, he made consecutive birdies putts from the first.
 
Klauk ran home a birdie putt at the par-5seventh to end one back.
 
Greg Owen opened with a 3-under 68. He shares fifth place with Paul Gow, Richard S. Johnson, Michael Letzig, Scott Dunlap and Andrew Bonhomme.
 
Vance Veazey, Sebastian Fernandez, Rick Price, Fabian Gomez and Michael Bradley are one shot back at minus-2.
 
Defending champion Skip Kendall struggled to a 6-over 77. He is tied for 123rd and is four shots over the projected cut line. No player has successfully defended a title on the Nationwide Tour.
 
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