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Barnes grabs early lead in Manitoba

  • The Sports Network
  • Published Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 8:33 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Erik Barnes fired an 8-under 63 in the opening round Thursday and grabbed a 1-shot lead at The Players Cup.

Barnes, who is in his second season on the PGA Tour Canada, is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Dakota Dunes Open.

Joshua Creel is one stroke off the lead as he opened with a 64 at Pine Ridge Golf Club. Brock Mackenzie, the 2010 Times Colonist Open winner, is alone in third place after a first-round 65.

Drew Stoltz and Matthew Smith share fourth place at minus-5, while Matt Hill, Doug McGuigan and Tyler Aldridge are tied for sixth at 4-under 67.

Barnes started his bogey-free round with birdies on the second and fourth. He also birdied the sixth and eighth as he headed to the back nine at minus-4.

The 26-year-old birdied the par-5 12th and followed with an eagle on the short par-4 13th. After four pars in a row, Barnes birdied the last two grab the lead.

Creel parred his first three holes, then made eagle on the par-5 fourth. After three more pars, he birdied the par-5 eighth before making a pair of pars.

He moved to 4-under with a birdie on the par-4 11th and that kicked off a run of four straight birdies. The burst moved Creel within one of the lead. He birdied the 17th, but stumbled to a bogey at the last to end one back.

NOTES: Barnes has carded three 63s in his last four rounds as he also shot 63 in the second and final rounds last week in Saskatchewan ... Brady Schnell, who tied for fifth last year, struggled to a 2-over 73, which left him tied for 71st.

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