Charley Hoffman piled up 13 points to share the first-round lead with fellow American Mark Hubbard Thursday in the US PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California.
Both Hoffmann and Hubbard had seven birdies and a bogey to top the leaderboard in the event that uses the Modified Stableford scoring system.
“I got off to a good start,” said Hoffman, who claimed the most recent of his four PGA Tour titles at the 2016 Texas Open.
“Made some birdies early. I had eagle putts on par-fives that could have been really good that were close to going in.
“I hit a lot of greens, gave myself opportunities, made some putts,” Hoffman added. “Was never out of position to really struggle a ton. I gave myself an opportunity to make birdies in this format is what you want.”
Players receive eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie and none for par. A point is subtracted for a bogey, and three points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.
Hoffman, who has battled a back injury this season, said it was worth the long trip from the Scottish Open — where he finished tied for 69th — to continue his drive to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I’m trying to get some momentum going through the end of the year, and this is a week that you can change the year in a few good days,” he said of the event being played opposite the British Open at St. Andrews.
“Last year had a great year, and this year I’ve had not such a great year, and I want to get those juices going again.”
Hubbard, meanwhile, is coming off a third-place finish at the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky on Sunday, but he said he didn’t feel a lot of momentum from that finish.
“I really hit it pretty poorly, but I just managed my game well,” he said. “So I got here this week, I was tired.
“I felt like I hit it pretty good today and made some progress from last week actually.”
The leading duo had a one-point lead over Americans Brice Garnett and Sean Crocker and Canadian Aaron Cockerill.