November 16, 2019 / 12:11 AM / 5 months ago

Golf: Lee's blistering front nine secures one-shot lead in Mexico

(Reuters) - Danny Lee’s sizzling start propelled the New Zealander to a one-stroke lead in the rain-delayed Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico on Friday.

Lee put together five birdies and an eagle in his first eight holes while shooting nine-under 62 to pace Americans Brendon Todd and Adam Long, who had 63s, as the weather improved in Playa del Carmen after Thursday’s first-round washout.

“I changed my swing a little bit to gain distance off the tee,” said the South Korean-born golfer who started play shortly after sunrise.

“I think it’s been showing me a lot of good results.”

Lee, the tournament’s runner-up last year, opened play with a birdie, then added another at the fourth hole before his eagle at the par-five fifth. Three more birdies followed.

He made the turn at seven-under, then added birdies at the 11th, 12th and 13th.

But he lost his bid for a sub-60 round with a bogey at the par-four 14th, then collected pars on the final four holes.

Vaughn Taylor, Mark Hubbard, Zach Johnson and Chris Baker shared fourth after shooting seven-under par 64s.

Billy Horschel and Harris English were at six-under 65 with 14 others at 66 as conditions softened at the Camaleon course in Playa del Carmen.

Lee has not won on the PGA Tour since 2015 when he topped a four-man playoff at the Greenbrier Classic.

Todd and Long are also previous winners. Todd’s victory came two weeks ago at the Bermuda Championship and Long claimed the Desert Classic title in January.

Two other Americans celebrated holes-in-one at the fourth hole. Cameron Tringale aced the 116-yard par-three layout in his 69 and about 45 minutes later rookie Chase Seiffert followed suit while shooting 68.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris

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