Martin Laird and Russell Knox enjoy brilliant start in Las Vegas

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Scottish duo Martin Laird and Russell Knox enjoyed brilliant first rounds during day one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Laird has a share of the lead with Stewart Cink after carding a seven-under par 64, while fellow Scot Knox is one shot adrift after his 65.

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Brilliant start

Knox started brilliantly and, at one time, looked capable of achieving a sub-60 round. The 29-year old started on the 10th at TPC Summerlin and produced six birdies, including four successive from the 15th to the 18th.

Another birdie on the second saw Knox reach seven-under par but he couldn't maintain his performance level as he bogeyed the fifth and sixth. However, he finished his round with a birdie to earn him third outright.

Laird, who won this event in 2009, also started quickly picking up three shots in the first four holes before further birdies at eight and nine meant he reached the turn in just 30 strokes.

Magnificent putt

The back nine was less spectacular for Laird after five successive pars but birdies on the 15th and a magnificent 40-foot putt on the 18th saw him draw level with Cink at the top of the leaderboard.

Laird was glad to sink his final putt and despite shooting seven-under par, feels he could have made a few more birdies on the back nine.

"It was nice to see that one go in," Laird said of his putt at the last. "I missed a bunch of opportunities on the back nine, putted great on the front and hit it actually better on the back than I did the front nine, just kept missing eight-to-10-footers."


Like Laird, Cink also managed a bogey-free round to give him a share of the lead. The 41-year old started steadily with seven straight pars but a birdie on the eighth proved to be the catalyst for a superb round of seven birdies in 11 holes.

Cink, who won the 2009 Open Championship, didn't know what to expect from himself with it being the first tournament of the season.

"A 64 is good for anybody, I think, but on the first day of the year, you don't really ever know what's going to come out, the first day of the season," said Cink.

"I just kind of was patient and waited for a good stretch, and a good stretch happened."

Return from leukemia

Jarrod Lyle is making just his second start after returning to the PGA Tour following two battles with leukemia and is two shots off the lead after recording a 66 which included seven birdies and two bogeys.

The Australian is tied in fourth with Bo Van Pelt, Hideki Matsuyama, Brian Stuard, Andrew Svoboda and Sam Saunders.

Vijay Singh, world number one and three time major champion, is a shot further adrift while FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel had to settle for a level-par 71.

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