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Stuard Sets Pace in Puerto Rico Open


While the game's top-ranked players are in Miami for the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the PGA Tour is holding another event simultaneously, the $3.5 million Puerto Rico Open.

Getting off to a good start at Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande was Brian Stuard, who recorded seven birdies and a bogey for a 6-under 66 to take the opening-round lead in Puerto Rico.

One stroke further back are Jason Gore and New Zealand's Danny Lee. Another seven players - Americans Tim Petrovic, Ricky Barnes, Chesson Hadley, William McGirt, Eric Axley and Ben Martin, and South Korean Y.E. Yang - posted 4-under 68s.

Stuard was pleased with his first round, which began with him starting play on the 10th tee. "Wind is blowing pretty good out there, so got to hit some good shots," said Stuard, a 31-year-old from Michigan in search of his first Tour title.

"I did well. I kept it in play nice off the tee, didn't get in much trouble, and only made the one bogey."

Stuard, currently ranked 13th in the FedEx Cup standings, has played well recently, finishing second in last November's OHL Classic in Mexico, and sixth-place showings in the Sony Open and Humana Challenge in January.

"I've just been playing pretty solid, but been putting well," Stuard said. "I putted really good to start off the year and then kind of last few weeks not quite as good and then good today."

Defending champion Scott Brown opened with a 70. Also in the field is two-time major champion John Daly. The 47-year-old, whose last win came in the 2004 Buick Invitational, posted three birdies, two bogeys and triple-bogey for a 74.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/puerto-rico-open-presented-by-seepuertorico-com/leaderboard.html.