Williamson Out Front at Hershey Open


HERSHEY, Penn. -- Tyler Williamson shot a 6-under-par 65 Thursday to lead after the opening round of the Buy.Com Hershey Open. Williamson finished one stroke clear of Darron Stiles and Marco Dawson.
Williamson, whose best finish on tour was fifth at the 2000 Tri-Cities Open, has yet to achieve a breakthrough victory. However, the 30-year-old played remarkably over the East Course layout at Country Club of Hershey for the first overnight lead of his career.
'I try to play golf like Greg Maddux pitches,' said Williamson. 'He doesn't have over-powering stuff and I don't either on the golf course. Maddux is a great pitcher who is struggling a little bit, but when he's on, he's on.'
Williamson opened on the back nine and quickly picked up a birdie at the par-4 11th after he landed his 8-iron within eight feet of the hole. He drained a 40-footer for birdie at the par-5 14th before cruising over the next nine holes at even par.
At the par-5 sixth Williamson broke the par streak after he reached the green in two with a 3-wood. He ran home an 18-foot putt for eagle to reach 4-under, and then converted from 30 feet for birdie at the very next hole.
Williamson completed his bogey-free round with a birdie at the par-4 ninth. He knocked his approach inside six feet and made the putt to take sole possession of first place.
'I want to get in the final couple of groups on Sunday and see what it takes,' said Williamson, who needed 27 putts to complete his round. 'I feel comfortable with this course and I'm looking in a good position for the next three days.'
Stiles, who earned his third career Buy.Com Tour victory at the Knoxville Open last week, eagled the opening hole en route to a flawless round of his own.
'Started off not driving the ball great, but I wasn't missing them bad,' said Stiles, who hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation.
Dawson also made his way around Hershey's East Course without a bogey. His round of 5-under 66 included three straight birdies from the 10th.
Cliff Kresge, who captured the Virginia Beach Open earlier this year, had five birdies to go along with one bogey for a round of 67. He was joined by Mark Wurtz, Richard Barcelo, Todd Barranger, Joel Kribel and Matt Sharkey in a tie for fourth.
Among a big group one shot further back at 3-under-par 68 were Buy.Com Tour winners D.A. Points, Omar Uresti and Rob McKelvey.
Full-field scores from the Hershey Open