Irving, Texas — Lawrence resident Chris Thompson never has been over par during a PGA Tour event.
Then again, he has played just one round so far.
Thompson carded a 1-under 69 Thursday in the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, putting him four strokes off the pace set by Peter Hanson and in a 16-way tie for 29th.
Thompson teed off on No. 10, crushed his drive 317 yards, stuck his second shot 16 feet from the pin and holed his putt for a birdie. He never fell below even par, and reached 2-under with three holes remaining after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. Thompson made putts of 11 and 16 feet for those birdies.
Six of his 14 drives were longer than 300 yards, and he twice drove the ball 298 yards. He carded four birdies and three bogeys.
Thompson hit his drive into the water on No. 18 for a penalty stroke and hit his second shot into the water on No. 9, his final hole of the day, for another penalty stroke.
Fellow Jayhawk Gary Woodland, who entered the tournament ranked No. 19 on the PGA money list, shot a 2-under par 68 and enters today in a 16-way tie for 13th, three strokes off the lead.
Like Thompson, Woodland birdied his first hole of the day, in his case, No. 1. He blasted his drive 354 yards to the left rough, hit his second shot to 21 feet and drained the putt. Woodland finished the day with three birdies and one bogey.
Woodland, playing with Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar, tees off No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. today. Thompson, grouped with Jamie Lovemark and Patrick Cantlay, tees off at 8:50.
Hanson made his only back-nine birdie with a 6-foot putt at the 18th hole, closing out a 5-under 65 for a one-stroke lead over David Duval, Marc Leishman and Tim Wilkinson.
Duval birdied his last three holes, Nos. 7-9. The 42-year-old Duval, ranked 890th in the world 15 years after being No. 1, almost withdrew before the round because of a painful muscle issue in his right elbow.
Hanson made the turn at 5 under after shooting 30 on the front side. The Swede couldn’t keep up the pace on the back nine that he hadn’t played before Thursday because of travel issues and a sore back.
When Duval finished his round, he had a share of the lead — until Hanson sank his final putt. Hanson didn’t arrive in Texas until Tuesday after a canceled fight and has also been bothered by a sore back.