Date: March 14, 2014
Author: Luke Sheehan, Omnisport

Lee, Chalmers among leaders at Valspar Championship

There is a four-way tie for the Valspar Championship lead after Thursday&aposs opening round, with Greg Chalmers and Danny Lee impressing.

Australia's Chalmers and New Zealander Lee both shot three-under 68s at Innisbrook Resort in Florida, to sit level atop the leaderboard at the PGA Tour event with Americans Matt Every and Pat Perez. Chalmers carded two birdies and two bogeys on his front nine after teeing off on the 10th hole in Palm Harbor, before birdies on one, four and six saw him finish in a flurry. Lee, who was runner-up at last week's Puerto Rico Open, continued his good form, as he was four under through 14 holes before a bogey at the par-four sixth blotted his card. Every was even par with just four holes to play, but a hat-trick of birdies from holes six through eight catapulted him to the helm of the leaderboard. Perez made the turn at one under, and bookmarked his back nine with birdies to see him contending early. One shot behind the leading group are another seven players on two under, including Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts and Italy's Matteo Manassero. The internationals join American contingent Robert Garrigus, Michael Putnam, James Hahn, Bill Haas and Tommy Gainey among those carding opening rounds of 69. Champion in 2013, Kevin Streelman had a tough start to his title defence, carding a two-over 73 to leave him in a tie of 70th. Streelman's struggles was not the only surprise of the opening round, with South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen also shooting a 73, alongside Fiji's Vijay Singh and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa. Other big names in action included Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose (both even par), Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els (all one over).