Greensboro, N.C. There was nothing in Charles Warren's recent performance to suggest this was coming.
He shot a 30 on the front nine and tied the course record with a 10-under 62 to take the first-round lead Thursday in the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, beating his previous best on the PGA Tour by four shots. Warren is two shots clear of K.J. Choi and three ahead of fellow Clemson alumnus D.J. Trahan.
"I've never had a round like that," said Warren, who has made only two cuts in his past 15 starts. "That's as close to a perfect round of golf as I've ever played."
Scoring in the afternoon improved greatly as Forest Oaks didn't quite dry out as expected, and the top seven enjoyed the easier conditions. John Rollins had the best round of the early starters - he was in the first group off No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. - and carded a 67 that left him tied for eighth.
Sergio Garcia had a 69, as did U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, and Adam Scott put himself in danger of missing the cut with a 73.
"If you're hitting it out there in the fairway, you've always got a chance to go at the flag for birdie," said Tim Clark, who opened with a 66. "The wind was playing a little bit, but I still felt the course was there for the taking."
That hasn't been the case anywhere lately for the 30-year-old Warren, who made about $67,000 in 1999 during his first full season on tour. He has one run of six missed cuts in a row and currently is riding a skid of five, even though he did play well enough in between to tie for seventh in the Western Open.
Warren birdied each of the par-5s during his bogey-free round. While tying the three other players who have posted 62s, he has the best opening score in the 66-year history of the tournament.
"Today was just one of those days where everything kind of went my way," Warren said.