Austria's Sepp Straka posted a 7-under-par 65 during the morning wave of the Corales Puntacana Resort Club Championship in the Dominican Republic on Thursday, and was tied atop the first round leaderboard in the afternoon by Americans Scott Harrington, Tyler McCumber and Hudson Swafford.
McCumber started on the back nine and reached 8 under through 16 holes. However, he dropped back into a tie for the lead after his approach shot out of a fairway bunker on the eighth hole one-hopped out of bounds and he ended up with a bogey.
Joseph Bramlett and China's Xinjun Zhang are one shot off the lead at 6 under, followed by a group of 10 who are another shot off the pace that includes former PGA Tour winners Sean O'Hair and Kyle Stanley.
Mackenzie Hughes of Canada carded a 4-under 68. He had the highest finish in last year's FedEx Cup (No. 14) of anyone in the field, and is tied for 17th along with Kelly Kraft, who aced the par-3 ninth hole, his last of the day.
Pre-tournament betting favorites Corey Conners and Will Zalatoris are 2 under along with defending champion Graeme McDowell, Pat Perez and Henrik Stenson. Stenson is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 43 in the world, and is paired for the first two rounds with Conners and McDowell.
Also at 2 under are Adam Long, who narrowly missed out on the Tour Championship this year, and Keith Mitchell, who finished solo second in his only previous start at Corales in 2018.
NOTES: The event was rescheduled from March due to COVID-19. Typically an alternate-field event opposite the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, it features full FedEx Cup points for the first time along with a spot in the 2021 Masters for the winner. ... Kraft's three hole-in-ones are the most of any player since the start of the 2017-18 season, according to the PGA Tour. ... Straka is the first Austrian to earn a PGA Tour card. ... Zalatoris, who made the cut at the U.S. Open, is playing on a sponsor exemption. ... The Tour visits Jackson, Miss. for the Sanderson Farms Championship next week.
--Field Level Media