Trio on Top in Virginia


RICHMOND, Va. -- John E. Morgan fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to share the lead with Kevin Durkin and John Elliott after the first round of the Henrico County Open.
Camilo Villegas, Jason Gore, Bill Lunde, Greg Kraft, Wes Short, Jr., Will MacKenzie, Jason Enloe, Ken Duke, Bob Heintz, Ted Tryba, David Peoples, Chad Collins, Mathew Goggin and Nathan Green finished knotted at 7-under-par 65.
Morgan started on the back nine at The Dominion Club and picked up back-to-back birdies from the 11th. He added a birdie at the par-5 18th to make the turn at 3 under and kept on rolling with an eagle at the par-5 third.
The Englishman tallied two straight birdies starting at the par-5 fourth and collected a birdie at the par-4 seventh to guarantee himself a piece of the opening-round lead.
'I can't grumble at anything,' said Morgan. 'The putts were sneaking in the sides. The driver was fantastic. I hardly missed a fairway.'
Durkin birdied the 10th, his first, and added a two more birdies over his first nine holes. He carried his momentum to the front nine with a birdie at the second and ran off three consecutive birdies starting at the fourth to jump to minus-7.
The 31-year-old then birdied the par-4 eighth to join Morgan atop the leaderboard.
Elliott also played the back half first and birdied the first two holes of his round before stumbling to a double bogey at the par-5 12th. Elliott recovered with birdies at the 13th and 15th holes, but dropped another shot with a bogey at the 17th.
He countered with a birdie at the 18th and caught fire on the front nine. Elliott birdied the second and picked up the first of four straight birdies at the fourth. Elliott added a birdie at the par-3 ninth to complete the logjam in first.
Villegas, who held the lead heading into the final round last week at the Rheem Classic, but ultimately tied for third, tallied four birdies, an eagle and a bogey on the front side. The Colombian birdied the 10th and moved to 7 under with a birdie at the 13th.
He had a birdie try at the last, but his 12-foot putt hit the hole and failed to fall. Villegas tapped in to finish in the large group one shot off the lead.
'You gotta go low,' said Villegas. 'I had some good chances. Made some good putts, missed a couple easy ones. But that's fine. We'll be back tomorrow.'
Jason Caron, Fran Quinn, Blaine McCallister, Martin Laird, Joe Daley, Andy Sanders, Kris Cox, Eric Axley, Pat Bates, Brian Henninger, John Morse, Donnie Hammond, Kyle Owen and Jason Schultz are tied at 6-under-par 66.
Related Links:
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  • Full Coverage - Henrico County Open