Four days after a final hole bogey cost him a place in a playoff, Daniel Summerhays set out to atone for his near-miss by snatching the early lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Thursday.
The American shot a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 at the Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi to open up a three-stroke lead in the uncompleted first round.
He carded seven birdies and an eagle to forge clear of fellow Americans Will Claxton, Michael Bradley and Jonathan Randolph, who shot matching rounds of 66.
Seven players — Americans Bill Lunde, Dicky Pride, Skip Kendall, D.J. Trahan, Chad Campbell, Donald Constable and Australian Peter Lonard — finished tied for fifth at five-under on a wild day where play was stopped because of thunderstorms.
Summerhays started on the back nine of the course and was two-under through eight before he went on an scoring blitz.
It began with an eagle on the 18th, continued with a birdie on the first and featured three consecutive birdies between the third and fifth holes before his final gained shot on the seventh left him with a big cushion.
The 29-year-old from Utah has hit a purple patch of form in recent weeks, finishing ninth at the Greenbrier then fourth in Illinois last week.
He stood on the 18th fairway at TPC Deere Run knowing a birdie would win him the tournament but pushed his approach wide into a bunker, making bogey and missing the playoff won by 19-year-old Jordan Spieth.
“Obviously I was disappointed and didn’t sleep much on Sunday night but that’s the great thing about professional golf,” Summerhays said.
“It’s different to say an Olympian, we get to play next week and that’s the attitude I took coming here and I was fortunate enough to play really well again today,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week. I have to soak it in as golf won’t let you stay on top for that long,” Summerhays said.