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Overton takes early lead at season opener

Jeff Overton
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KIAWAH ISLAND, SC - AUGUST 06: Dustin Johnson of the United States hits a bunker shot during a practice round of the 2012 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on August 6, 2012 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)  - 

The 2013-14 PGA Tour season is officially underway, and the entire field at the Open is currently chasing Jeff Overton. Here's how things shape up at CordeValle, where Overton has built a one-shot advantage after starting his season with a 64:

Leaderboard: Jeff Overton (-7), Brian Harman (-6), Kyle Stanley (-5), Jason Kokrak (-4), Michael Putnam (-4), Robert Allenby (-3), George McNeill (-3)

What it means: Most of the low scores were carded during the morning wave Thursday, as several notable players struggled out of the gates at CordeValle. Overton had no issues with his opening round, however, and now finds himself staked to a lead as he seeks his first career PGA Tour victory.

Round of the day: Overton began slowly, carding seven consecutive pars before a birdie at the eighth hole was followed by an eagle at the par-5 ninth. The Indiana native birdied four of his final seven holes coming in, completing his opening round without dropping a shot. It's the lowest score Overton has recorded in a PGA Tour event since closing the Humana Challenge with a 64 in January.

Best of the rest: One of the few players to go low in the afternoon wave Thursday, Harman notched eight total birdies in his opening round, including three across his final five holes. The southpaw made the most of his opportunities on the greens at CordeValle, recording red figures on six of the 11 par-4s he encountered to help him move within a shot of Overton's lead.

Biggest disappointment: Entering the week as one of the perceived favorites, Billy Horschel got off to a strong start and found himself 3 under after just 13 holes Thursday, having started his round on the back nine. The reigning Zurich Classic champion saw his round derailed at the par-4 fifth, though, where Horschel carded a triple-bogey 7. Bogeys on three of the next four holes followed, and Horschel was left with a disappointing 3-over 74 in the opening round that could make the 36-hole cut a formidable obstacle.

Biggest storyline heading into Friday: While Overton enjoys an overnight lead, several players are within striking distance on a course expected to yield red figures as the week progresses. Included among the chase pack is Kokrak, who tied for second a year ago, Putnam, who won the regular season Tour money list, and John Peterson, who won the Tour Finals money list and reached 5 under in his opening round before closing with a pair of bogeys for a 3-under 68.

Shot of the day: After another lengthy tee shot, Overton found himself just 122 yards from the hole on No. 18. The former Hoosier hit his final approach shot of the day to within two feet, giving him a kick-in birdie that ultimately gave him sole possession of the overnight lead.