Kuchar sinks eight birdies to take the lead in Mexico

Patton Kizzire

"I'm reaching out when I'm home and trying to pick his brain a little bit here and there, but really just watching him play, what he does at practice", Hickok said.

Champ, who won his first PGA Tour title in his second start as a tour member at the Sanderson Farms Championship in MS last month, had eight birdies an eagle and one bogey on the El Camaleon Golf Club Course in Playa del Carmen. He was leading by one shot when his tee shot sailed right and landed in bushes near rocks.

Kuchar, looking for his first worldwide win since 2015, played exceptionally well on the front nine, with five straight birdies at one point. Jordan Spieth misses the cut.

Kuchar, owner of seven tour titles but seeking his first since the 2014 RBC Heritage, was two strokes clear of Cameron Champ, who fired a nine-under par 62 to set an early target on 130.

Champ - already a victor on the PGA Tour season - had set the early clubhouse target after firing a round-of-the-day 62, with defending champion Patton Kizzire one of six players a further shot back in tied-third.

"I knew she had caddied for me before and was friendly with Zach Johnson, and figured she would be good to handle it, and Zach would go easy on her", Kuchar said. Playing his second straight week in the fall - and his last tournament before his wedding - Spieth traded birdies and bogeys and had to settle for an even-par 71, leaving him in need of a good round Friday just to stick around for the weekend.

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"If you're not driving it well, this course is extremely hard", Kuchar said.

After round one, Lee was in a 15-way tie for fourth, one shot back from the American trio of Matt Kuchar, Kramer Hickok and Dominic Bozzelli.

"This course I feel like is very suitable for everyone".

An area renowned for its wild weather - rain out of nowhere, plenty of wind - has seen sunshine and calms for two days, and it's reflected in the scoring.

The seven players at 11-under 131 included defending champion Patton Kizzire, past Mayakoba champion Brian Gay and Anirban Lahiri of India, who has played in the last two Presidents Cups.

Park Sung Hyun shot a 67 and fellow South Korean Kim Sei Young had a 68 to put them both within five strokes of the lead.

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