Every surges clear at Wyndham

Miami (AFP) –


Matt Every surged into an early lead at the Wyndham Championship on Thursday, firing a nine-under-par 61 to launch his bid for only the third win of his career.

The journeyman world number 751 carded seven birdies and an eagle to move clear in the clubhouse at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Every, 33, opened his round with a superb eagle on the par-four first, holing a 105-yard wedge from the fairway for a brilliant eagle.

A trio of birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes was followed by another birdie on the par-three seventh to leave Every six under at the turn.

Two more birdies in the closing four holes left Every at nine under to complete a stunning round.

Every, a back-to-back winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014 and 2015, has been in the doldrums in recent seasons, failing to reach a major since 2015.

"The last couple of years have been brutal for me," Every said Thursday. "A lot of people probably would have quit.

"So it's good to be back, playing good. I've got a few things to motivate me right now and I want to play well again.

"Today was really solid. I'm excited for the rest of the week. But it's only one round. I know that."

Every was two shots ahead of five players tied on seven under which included Australians Cameron Smith and Tim Wilkinson.

Webb Simpson was also in the group after posting a 63. Simpson was seven under through the first half of his round and might have broken 60 only for two more birdies on the back nine to be offset by a pair of bogeys.

Davis Love III, a three-time winner in Greensboro on the PGA Tour, was three adrift of Every after a six-under-par 64.