Pat McGowan, striving for his first victory in 13 years on the PGA Tour, shot a bogey-free, six-under-par 65 Thursday to tie Ted Schulz for the first-round lead of the Kemper Open at Potomac, Md.
McGowan birdied four holes on the front nine and had birdies on Nos. 13 and 16 to pull even with Schulz, who had reached the clubhouse hours earlier. Both players finished two shots ahead of Jim Hallet, Denis Watson and Ian Baker-Finch.
"I got off to a good, quick start today," McGowan said. "I really putted well and missed maybe three greens all day."
Schulz, seeking his first tournament victory of the year, had five birdies on the back nine and made only one bogey over the 6,917-yard TPC at Avenel course. He finished the round by sinking 10-foot birdie putts on Nos. 17 and 18.
Hallet had three birdies over the first nine holes and finished the round with seven consecutive pars. Watson, who has been fighting injuries the past two years, had four birdies.
Doug Tewell, who had a hole in one, was among eight players who were three strokes back. Tewell aced the par-3, 160-yard 11th hole with a 7-iron.
Morris Hatalsky, who won the tournament in 1988, was among a group of 15 players who shot a 69 and Tom Kite was one of 14 players at 70.
Defending champion Tom Byrum had a 74.
McGowan, coming off a three-week layoff, said he felt refreshed and primed for his first tournament victory.
"It's been a long time, but this might be the week," he said. "I've been thinking that this just might be the lucky 13th year."
Spain's Seve Ballesteros hit a sand wedge into a creek on the par-5, 479-yard sixth hole and ended with a double bogey that contributed to his 73. He also had problems with his sand wedge on No. 14 and bogeyed the hole.
Australia's Peter O'Malley shot a seven-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead with Northern Ireland's David Feherty in the British Masters at Woburn, England.
O'Malley made six birdies and had an eagle on the par-5 18th.
Defending champion and two-time Masters winner Nick Faldo fell eight strokes behind after having to take a penalty drop on the 12th and shooting a double-bogey seven at the 13th. Ian Woosnam of Wales shot a 69.