Barnes leads at Zurich Classic


Associated Press

avondale, la.

Ricky Barnes said he still owes his newborn daughter a late birthday present.

Perhaps a piece of silver would be appropriate.

Barnes birdied six of the last eight holes Thursday at rain-softened TPC Louisiana to take a one-stroke lead at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which awards a silver cup to the winner.

Barnes finished the opening round with an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey for an 8-under 64. Boo Weekley and Lucas Glover were a stroke back, and D.A. Points and Morgan Hoffmann shot 66.

“Today it was nice because it was a pretty stress-free round,” said Barnes, who did not arrive in New Orleans until late Wednesday afternoon after the birth of his daughter Monday night. “I think I only had to chip once in 18 holes so that’s nice.”

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur playing on a sponsor exemption, opened with an even-par 72, highlighted by a 5-wood that he hit to a foot on the par-3 17th.

“I think I played pretty good golf,” Guan said. “Not the best but I made some ups and downs and a couple birdies.”

He tied for 58th in the Masters after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at Augusta National, and said Thursday that he will play in a U.S. Open qualifier in two weeks in Dallas.

Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler head a group of 10 players at 5 under.

Defending champion Jason Dufner shot 70, and 2011 winner Bubba Watson had a 73.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.