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Grayson Murray reacts after missing a putt on the ninth green during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West.-Usa Today
Grayson Murray reacts after missing a putt on the ninth green during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West.-Usa Today

PALM SPRINGS, United States: Americans Zac Blair and Grayson Murray each shot eight under 64s while playing on different courses to seize the first-round lead at the US PGA Tour’s La Quinta tournament on Thursday.

Both Blair and Murray started on the back nine with Blair teeing off on the La Quinta course and Murray hitting driver on the first tee of the Stadium course.

The event with a 54-hole cut line is played over those two courses and the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course.

Ben Martin plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Jack Nicklaus Course at PGA West.-Usa Today Sports
Ben Martin plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Jack Nicklaus Course at PGA West.-Usa Today Sports

Between the two of them, Blair and Murray have just one career win on the PGA Tour with Murray capturing the 2017 Barbasol Championship.

Blair made birdie on Nos. 11 and 13 and then birdied the par-four No. 17 to make the turn at three under.

The 224th-ranked player in the world got hot on his back nine with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8. Blair really excelled on the par-fives, finishing four under on the longer holes.

World No. 463 Murray fired a sizzling 30 on his first nine holes, including four consecutive birdies beginning at the par-four 15.

He birdied three of the next eight holes to get to nine under, but he made bogey on his final hole of the day.

Martin Trainer plays his shot from the 18th tee during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Jack Nicklaus Course at PGA West.-Usa Today Sports
Martin Trainer plays his shot from the 18th tee during the first round of The American Express golf tournament on the Jack Nicklaus Course at PGA West.-Usa Today Sports

A trio of golfers – Hank Lebioda, Scottie Scheffler and Rickie Fowler – are a shot back.

Behind the three golfers tied for third is a group of eight that includes Russell Knox, Andrew Landry and Australian Cameron Davis.

Defending champion Adam Long shot a three under on the La Quinta course and is tied for 49th.-AFP

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