BOGART, Ga. ' Rich Barcelo, Patrick Sheehan and sponsor's exemption Kevin Kisner, a University of Georgia graduate, each posted rounds of 6-under 66 on Thursday and share the first-round lead of the Athens Regional Foundation Classic.
David Branshaw shot a 5-under 67 and is alone in fourth at Jennings Mill Country Club.
Barcelo got off to a good start on Thursday. He birdied two of his first four holes, but parred the next seven around the turn. He got to 3 under with a birdie at the par-4 12th.
Barcelo birdied two in a row from the 14th to reach minus-5. His final birdie came at the par-5 closing hole to grab his piece of first.
'Everything was good, nothing great,' said Barcelo, who hit 13 of 14 fairways in round two. 'Important to keep the ball in the fairway because of the wet conditions. The course is still pretty muddy.'
Sheehan, a partial member of the PGA Tour, tallied four birdies in his first seven holes. He birdied the 10th to get to minus-5, then his birdie at the last got him into the trio on top.
Sheehan finished 128th on last year's PGA Tour money list and that gets him non-exempt status on tour. He has a plan for the remainder of his season schedule.
'Should be able to play in about 24 events on PGA Tour this year,' he said. 'I will play on Nationwide Tour when I can't get in to an event and it makes sense.'
Kisner started on fire with back-to-back birdies at his first two holes, the 10th and 11th. He added a birdie at the par-5 14th, then recorded three on his second nine.
Skip Kendall, Kris Blanks, Oskar Bergman, Neal Lancaster, Brendon Todd, Doug LaBelle II, Tyler Aldridge, Joe Daley and Stonebrae Classic winner Michael Sim are knotted in fifth place at 4-under 68.
Defending champion Robert Damron struggled badly on Thursday. He recorded three birdies, nine bogeys and double-bogeys at two par-5s for a 10-over 82 and a share of last place.