Three share lead at Chile Classic
03/06/2014 5:56 PM
03/06/2014 5:56 PM
Santiago, Chile (SportsNetwork.com) - Garth Mulroy fired an 8-under 64 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead at the Chile Classic.
Mulroy, who is a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour, was joined by Henrik Norlander and Sebastian Vazquez atop the leaderboard at Prince of Wales Country Club.
Byron Smith is alone in fourth place at 7-under 65, while Jorge Fernandez- Valdez and Roger Sloan shared fifth at 6-under 66.
Sung Joon Park, Andrew Putnam, Scott Pinckney, Adam Hadwin, Bhavik Patel, Brett Lederer, Jonathan Fricke, Nicolas Geyger and Carlos Sainz, Jr. are tied for seventh at 5-under 67.
Mulroy was the first of the leaders to take the course and followed an opening par with back-to-back birdies at the second and third.
He would record another pair of birdies at the sixth and seventh before again rolling in consecutive gains at the ninth and 10th to reach 6-under.
After parring his next five holes, the South African closed the day with birdies at the 16th and 18th to reach minus-8.
"You don't have to hit it far, but you have to hit it straight," said Mulroy. "You have to put the tee shot in the fairway and in certain positions. I hit only four drivers all day and one of those was a bit of a gamble."
Vazquez birdied two of his first three holes before tripping to a bogey at the fifth. He parred his next four holes to close out an outward 35.
Vazquez then caught fire with four straight birdies from the 10th to reach 5- under.
He later holed his second shot at the par-4 17th for an eagle to pull within a shot of the lead, and closed with a birdie at the last to meet Mulroy atop the leaderboard.
"I punched it under the branches from 112 yards. It was just a low one that isn't supposed to go in. Sometimes you get some good luck," Vazquez said about his eagle.
Norlander, meanwhile, followed birdies at the second and third with a bogey at the fifth. He bounced right back with a birdie at the sixth to again reach 2- under.
He would add consecutive gains at the ninth and 10th before closing with a flourish of four birdies over his final five holes to move to 8-under and claim a share of the lead.
Smith posted seven birdies during his bogey-free round to finish a shot off the pace.
Sainz recorded the best round of anyone in the afternoon wave and joined the group tied at 5-under with an albatross at his last hole, the ninth. He had two bogeys and four birdies prior to that double-eagle.
NOTES: Mulroy's last victory on tour was at the 2011 BMW Charity Pro-Am. He also won the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Championship that year ... Norlander and Vazquez are both tour rookies seeking their first career win ... Sloan and Jake Younan both recorded a hole-in-one at the 11th hole ... Sainz's albatross was the first in the tournament's three-year history.