LAS VEGAS - Scotland's Martin Laird got off to a hot start and held on to share the first-round lead with Stewart Cink on Thursday in the US PGA Tour 's Shriners Hospitals Open. Laird and Cink both carded seven-under par 64s and were one stroke in front of Scotland's Russell Knox.
It was a further stroke back to a group of six players on 66: Australian Jarrod Lyle, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Americans Bo Van Pelt, Brian Stuard, Andrew Svoboda and Sam Saunders. The second tournament of the US tour 's 2014-15 season sees Lyle in action for the second straight week -- his first starts since twice receiving treatment for leukemia.
He finished tied for 31st last week after qualifying for the season-opener, and is playing this week on a sponsor's exemption. Organizers didn't quite squeeze in the entire first round at TPC Summerlin, where darkness halted play with three players still to finish. Laird , who held the halfway lead in Napa, California, last week, birdied three of his first four holes.
He added back-to-back birdies at eight and nine, and capped a bogey-free round with birdies at 15 and 18. Laird , who claimed his last US Tour title at the 2013 Texas Open, capped his round with a 40-foot birdie bomb at the final hole. "It was nice to see that one go in," Laird said. "I missed a bunch of opportunities on the back nine, putted great on the front and hit it actually better on the back than I did the front nine, just kept missing eight-, 10-footers."
Cink also played without a bogey, nabbing five of his seven birdies on the back nine. "Well, 64 is good for anybody, I think, but on the first day of the year, you don't really ever know what's going to come out, the first day of the season," said Cink .
, whose last victory came at the 2009 British Open. "I just kind of was patient and waited for a good stretch, and a good stretch happened."