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Henry shoots 60, grabs lead in Las Vegas

4:54 AM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - J.J. Henry fired a course-record, 11- under-par 60 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Henry, a two-time PGA Tour winner, drained a 50-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth (his last) at TPC Summerlin.

"It was one of those days," said Henry, who last played this tournament in 2009. "There wasn't much wind and the greens were pretty soft. It was nice to make that putt on the last hole to make lunch taste that much better."

Andres Romero tied the previous course record with a career-low, 10-under 61 and snared second place.

"I was feeling very good this week," Romero said. "My swing is there. I was hitting the ball well and I had a really good round today. I though I was going to finish as the leader."

Jonathan Byrd, Jeff Overton and James Driscoll share third place at 8-under 63, one shot ahead of 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson (64). Byrd, who is starting this season on a major medical exemption, won this event in 2010 when he recorded the first playoff hole-in-one in PGA Tour history.

"I'm very thankful for Reno, because if I hadn't played well there I'd be in a much more stressful position. I'll be happy when I get the major medical past me, because then I can really focus on the season," said Byrd, who had surgery on his left wrist Oct. 29, 2012.

Stephen Ames, John Senden, Bryce Molder, Scott Brown, Chesson Hadley and Heath Slocum are tied for seventh at 6-under 65.

Henry, who last won at the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open, began on the 10th tee and birdied the 12th before executing a hat trick of birdies from the 15th to highlight his outward 32.

Around the turn, Henry birdied the par-4 second, then played his final six holes at 6-under, carding four birdies and an eagle-3 over that span to wrap his bogey-free day.

"Any time you start with the round I had, it gives you a lot of confidence for the rest of the week," said Henry, who hit 17 of 18 greens.

Romero had a chance to match Henry at the last, but his 29-foot, downhill birdie attempt at the 18th narrowly missed.

Prior to that, Romero opened with five straight pars before reeling off three consecutive birdies from the sixth and, like Henry, an eagle at the ninth.

Romero added back-to-back birdies from the 12th, another eagle at the par-4 15th and a birdie at the 16th during his bogey-free round.

"I was focused on my game and I was trying to do my job," he said. "I feel very good and focused on my game and every shot. I wasn't paying attention to the leaderboard and the other guys."

NOTES: Henry tied for 16th at the Frys.com Open last week. His other PGA Tour win came at the 2006 Buick Championship ... Davis Love III (2001), Tag Ridings (2004) and Hunter Haas (2011) all shared the previous course record of 61 ... Ryan Moore, the 2012 winner, is tied for 51st at 2-under-par 69 ... Last week's Frys.com Open winner, Jimmy Walker, is tied for 81st at even-par 71.

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