Canada’s Svensson shares lead at Tour Q-School

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Adam Svensson (Claus Andersen/ Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Canadian Adam Svensson and Georgia’s Rick Lamb share the first-round lead at the Tour Qualifying Tournament after each finished at 7 under for the day.

Svensson’s 64 came on the par-71 Champion Course, while Lamb fired a 65 on the par-72 Fazio Course at PGA National Resort & Spa.

Four players are tied for third at 6 under: Taiwan’s Cheng Tsung Pan, Ollie Schniederjans, T.J. Vogel and Austin Cook.

Svensson, who finished ninth on the 2015 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit in only six starts, finished his round on the front nine with an eagle on the par-5 third and birdies on the final three holes.

“I hit it exceptional all day today,” said Svensson, who turned professional earlier this year. “I had a couple of nice putts drop there in the end including a tricky right-to-left putt on the ninth that somehow ended up rolling in.”

The 21-year-old was quick to admit that a strong round on the more difficult Champion Course will give him an advantage heading into the second round.

“It was huge,” he said. “I just have to go out tomorrow and stay focused and not think about anything that happened today and just stick to the game plan.”

With ideal scoring conditions greeting players on Thursday, Lamb, 25, took advantage of the Fazio Course with eight birdies on the day, including one final effort on the par-4 18th.

“Got on a little roll and went with it,” Lamb said. “Hit a 7-iron from 165 yards into the wind and had 5 feet for birdie.”

Even after an early bogey on the fifth hole, the University of Tennessee alum was able to bounce back with a birdie on the par-4 sixth to keep his round in control.

“I’m pretty pleased with the start,” he said. “You can’t complain when you shoot 7 under so I am happy with the way everything started today. It’s more relaxing knowing I am in a good position but I still have three more days and need to continue to play well.”

The Tour Qualifying Tournament is a four-day, 72-hole competition that ends on Sunday, Dec. 13. The tournament is being contested at the PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champion Course (CC) and Fazio Course (FC). The Champion Course has played host to The Honda Classic on the PGA TOUR since 2007. The Fazio Course plays to a par-72, while the Champion Course plays to a par-71.

There were nearly 1,000 entries for the tournament, which included previous Pre-Qualifying, First and Second stages that began in August.

A total of 155 players began play on Thursday morning.

Players in this event are competing for positions on 2016 Tour priority ranking, which will be used to form tournament fields. The medalist (or co-medalists) will be guaranteed fully-exempt status next year. Players 2-10 (and ties) will be subject to the third reshuffle next year and players 11-45 (and ties) will be subject to the second reshuffle.

This week’s medalist will earn $25,000. Players 2-10 (and ties) will earn $15,000 each. Players 11-45 (and ties) will earn $10,000 each.