Mullinax grabs lead at Puerto Rico Open


Miami – Five days after marrying his high school sweetheart, American rookie Trey Mullinax fired a bogey-free nine-under par 63 to seize a one-stroke lead on Thursday at the storm-hit Puerto Rico Open.

Mullinax, who married Abi Essman in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, matched the best opening round in tournament history with his lowest PGA round to seize a one-stroke lead over compatriot D.A. Points.

Lightning halted the first round of the US PGA Tour event with 36 players still on the course, the nearest of them to the lead being American Jonathan Randoph at six-under with three holes remaining.

Final groups will complete their opening round Friday morning and then move into the second round at the event, a chance for tour lesser lights while top-ranked talent competes at the World Golf Championships Match-Play event in Austin, Texas.

Mullinax began on the back nine with three consecutive birdies and added another at the par-5 15th. He added back-to-back birdies to open his second nine, two more at four and five and his last at the seventh.

Despite not playing for six weeks, Points also had a bogey-free round starting off the 10th tee. He opened and closed with birdies in going 4-under on the back side, then added birdies at three and seven before holing out from the fairway at the ninth for an eagle from 146 yards with a 9-iron to finish on Millinax’s heels.

Points, 40, seeks his third PGA title after the 2011 Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 2013 Houston Open.

Americans Bill Lunde and Xander Schauffele shared third on 65 with Canada’s David Hearn and Americans Harold Varner, Ricky Barnes, Kevin Tway and J.T. Poston on 66.

Top finishers on Thursday in the lightning-halted first round of the US PGA Puerto Rico Open (par-72, USA unless noted, 36 players to complete round Friday morning):

63 – Trey Mullinax

64 – D.A. Points

65 – Bill Lunde, Xander Schauffele

66 – David Hearn (CAN), Harold Varner, Ricky Barnes, Kevin Tway, J.T. Poston

67 – Scott Brown, Zack Sucher, Michael Thompson, John Merrick

68 – Jonas Blixt (SWE), Andre Gonzales, Retief Goosen (RSA), Alex Cejka (GER), Steve Wheatcroft, Ryan Blaum, Boo Weekley

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