Dan Forsman, who has missed the cut in five of his eight tournaments this year, fired an opening-round 66 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead over a group of six golfers in the $750,000 USF&G; tournament at New Orleans.
In the logjam at four under par were Greg Norman, Tim Simpson, Bill Sander, Tom Byrum, Pat McGowan and Lee Chill.
Chill, who has failed seven times to make it through the PGA Tour qualifying school, won a spot in a qualifying round Monday.
Jim Hallet was alone at 69.
Tom Kite, winner of two consecutive tournaments and the hottest golfer on the tour, shot an opening-round 70, putting him in a tie with six other players.
Kite is bidding to become the first golfer since Gary Player in 1978 to win three tournaments in a row.
The tournament is being played over the 7,106-yard English Turn golf course, the first professional event over the links designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened to the public last fall.
Nicklaus, playing in the inaugural tournament on his new course, shot a 73.
Allison Finney birdied her first three holes and her final four for a seven-under-par 66 and a two-stroke lead over Beth Daniel in the first round of the $400,000 LPGA Turquoise tournament at Phoenix.
Daniel birdied five of her last six holes.
Penny Hammel and Joan Pitcock were tied at 69. Jody Rosenthal, Sally Quinlan, Carolyn Hill and Jan Stephenson were at 70.
Lori Garbacz, who won her first tournament in 11 years on the LPGA tour last week at Tucson, was tied at 71 with five others, including defending champion Ok-Hee Ku of South Korea.