Josh Teater of Lexington, Ky., and Todd Pinneo of Fayetteville, Ark., each fired nine under par 63 to share the first round lead.
"I played well, as the score shows," said Teater. "I made some putts from 15 to 20 feet and hit several close. I hit the ball well last week in Green Bay, but couldn't make any putts. I just kept telling myself to keep focused and things would take care of themselves. That happened for me today."
Teater jumped out to a comfortable lead by shooting five under on the front nine.
"I was happy with where I was, but there are a lot of great players on this tour," said Teater. "You can't get comfortable, because everywhere we've been, there has been somebody shooting 63 or 64."
He didn't lose his focus on the back, birdying the last three holes. Pinneo also had a stellar round, checking in with a 63 to grab a share of the lead.
"This is probably the best I've played all year," said Pinneo. "I only missed two shots all day. I played the par-fives just like I wanted to, making birdie on all four. I played here in the past, so I knew there was a possibility of going low. I didn't know it was going to be me, but I'm glad it was."
Five other players are just two strokes off the lead, including local touring pro Jeff Escott of St. Charles. Michael Letzig of Richmond, Mo., is tied with four other golfers for eight place with a 66.
While some golfers jumped out to a solid lead, others like Chris Winton put themselves in a hole. The Claremore, Okla., native finished with a 74 and is tied for 80th place. "I putted bad all day and hit a tee shot out of bounds on 18," he said. "I've got a lot of work to do. It was hot, but other than that, the weather was great. It was just a poor performance on my part."
Caruthersville's Landon Kersey is also tied for 80th place along with Winton and Charleston amateur Brian Cox. Sikeston's Brandon Couch, Wyatt's Dan Laster and Bootheel professional Jeff Ketterman are tied with six other golfers in 92nd place after each firing a 75.
Jackson's Troy Dooley is 101st with a 76.
The second round will open this morning at 7:30 a.m. Teater, tied for the lead, is set to tee off on hole 10 at that time. "It's going to be hard to duplicate (Thursday's) round," said Teater. "I'm just going to approach the course the same way and hope the putts fall again. You have to make a lot of good shots to get another 63. All you can do is prepare li
ke you do every day, and hopefully, it will happen again."
Pinneo, also tied for the lead, will tee off this morning at 7:57 a.m. on hole 10.
"I've just got to keep making birdies," said Pinneo. "If the weather stays like it is, there are going to be low rounds like this all week."