PGA veteran Leonard Thompson, trying to break out of a two-year slump, fired a six-under-par 66 Thursday to take a one-shot lead in the opening round of the $500,000 Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament.
Thompson, who has been on the tour 15 years, shot a 33-33. In second place was Oklahoman David Edwards, who toured the 6,982-yard Forest Oaks Country Club course in 36-31.
Five players finished at 68, and 10 were bunched at 69.
Edwards' brother, Danny, twice a winner at Forest Oaks, was in the group of players at 68. Others there included Andy Bean and Jim Simons, who played Thursday morning, plus Tom Purtzer and British Open champion Sandy Lyle, who, like Danny Edwards, played in the afternoon.
Craig Stadler and local favorite David Thore of nearby Reedsville, N.C., were in the large group at 69.
Temperatures in the high 70s and little wind contributed to good scoring conditions. Said Simons: "It was about as easy as you'll see it."
Thompson found it easier than anyone. The 39-year-old Lumberton, N.C., native hit four approach shots inside of five feet during his seven-birdie, one-bogey round.
"I've been hitting it well all year, so that part doesn't surprise me," Thompson said. "Today, I finally made some putts. I also hit it close enough that putting didn't matter as much."