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Four Tied for Lead in Valspar Championship


Americans Matt Every and Pat Perez, Australian Greg Chalmers and New Zealand's Danny Lee carded 3-under 68s to share the 18-hole lead in the Valspar Championship.

The $5.7 million PGA Tour event - the former Tampa Bay Championship - began Thursday on the difficult Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

On a day when swirling winds and chilly temperatures inhibited scores on the already-tough par-71 layout - designed by architect Larry Packard, who died in January at age 101, tied for fifth after 69s are Americans Robert Garrigus, Michael Putnam, James Hahn, Bill Haas and Tommy Gainey, along with Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts and Italy's Matteo Manassero.

"I would have been satisfied with 2-over today," Every said. "It was tough. This morning you couldn't feel your hands. The wind was brutal."

Added Every, who's seeking his first win on Tour, "I've played enough to know the first round doesn't matter that much. This place is just going to be about not making doubles and taking yourself out of the tournament. You're going to make bogeys just because there's mud balls out there and the wind and then the greens. But it's not that big of a deal."

Yet another 14 players got to the clubhouse with 1-under 70s.

Two past champions, Luke Donald in 2012 and last year's winner, Kevin Streelman, opened with rounds of 71 and 73, respectively.

"This course isn't easy in good conditions," said Donald after his round. "The wind was really affecting some of the shots pretty hard. It was a good battle out there today."

The Tour's reigning Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth, also posted a 71, a score matched by 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. Patrick Reed, who won last week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, isn't entered this week. Nor is the Tour's only three-time winner this season, Jimmy Walker. Chesson Hadley, who won the Puerto Rico Open last Sunday for his first title, shot a 75.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.