Piller, Fast on top at News Sentinel Open

08/14/2014 8:45 PM

08/14/2014 8:45 PM

Farragut, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Piller carded a 6-under 65 on Thursday and was joined in the lead by Matt Fast after one round of the News Sentinel Open.

Piller, who shared the third-round lead last week in Missouri, is looking for his first win since the 2010 season. Fast has missed five cuts in a row before tying for 39th at the Price Cutter Charity Championship last week.

Cory Whitsett, who helped lead the University of Alabama to the NCAA title this year, posted a 5-under 66. He shared third place with Brandon Brown, Ryan Spears, Brandon Bunn and Sung Joon Park.

Hunter Haas, the 2004 and 2006 champion, carded a 4-under 67. He is one of 10 players tied for eighth place at Fox Den Country Club.

Piller opened with a birdie on the first, but he followed that with three pars in a row before stumbling to a bogey on the par-5 fifth. Piller bounced back with a birdie on No. 6.

The 28-year-old converted back-to-back birdie chances at eight and nine to make the turn at minus-3. After three straight pars from the 10th, Piller birdied the par-3 13th.

Piller came back with birdies at 15 and 17 to join Fast in the lead.

"It feels really good to play well. It took a while for me to realize that I need to play smart and take advantage of my opportunities," Piller said. "It feels good to keep it going. If I play smart and I execute, I should play really well."

Fast started on the 10th tee and he parred his first five holes. He birdied the 15th and 17th to make the turn at minus-2.

After five consecutive pars from the 18th, Fast converted a birdie chance on the par-5 fifth. He parred the sixth, then ran off three straight birdies from the seventh to post 6-under.

"I'm playing good. You're just trying to put 72 good holes together," said Fast, who has only made the cut in seven of his 18 tour starts this year. "You want to get your Tour card. Now we just need to get into the top-75 (on the money list) and start playing good going into the playoffs."

Whitsett went bogey-free with five birdies in his round of 66. Brown had six birdies and a bogey, Spears had five birdies, an eagle and a double-bogey, while Bunn had seven birdies and two bogeys in his round. Park mixed four birdies, an eagle and a bogey in his round of 66.

NOTES: This is the first time Fast has led after any round on the Web.com Tour ... Piller has a piece of the first-round lead for the first time in his career ... Bunn played his high school golf at Fox Den ... Former champion Jarrod Lyle struggled to a 6-over 77 ... Brian Maurer carded an even-par 71 with 18 consecutive pars.

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