Martin shoots course record 62, leads by two in New Orleans

Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:08pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Ben Martin fired a course record 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $6.8 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday.

Martin made light of gusting afternoon winds to reel off 10 birdies, capped off by a chip-in from 55 feet at the 17th hole at the TPC Louisiana.

He leads by two shots from fellow American Andrew Svoboda and holds a three-shot edge over Swede Peter Hanson and South Korean Noh Seung-yul.

"Awesome way to start," Martin told the PGA Tour's website,

Martin's score could have been even better as he failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the par-five 18th and had to settle for a closing par.

But he had no complaints after carding his best score on Tour by three strokes.

"The ball was going where I was looking and it seemed like the putts were falling in just like I was seeing them," Martin said.

His score is the lowest on the Tour since Australian Adam Scott also carded a 62 in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida last month.

Martin's hot round was not exactly a bolt from the blue, but rather a continuation of the fine form he displayed at the Heritage in his home state of South Carolina last week.   Continued...

Ben Martin of the U.S hits out of the bunker on the 7th hole during the Canadian Open Golf Tournament at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, British Columbia July 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ben Nelms