Van der Walt matches course record in Ohio

Jun 12, 2015 - 1:00 AM Westlake, OH ( - Dawie van der Walt fired a course-record- tying, 9-under 62 in the first round Thursday and grabbed a 2-shot lead at the Rust-Oleum Championship.

Van der Walt, who lost this title on the 11th playoff hole last year, won the Chile Classic earlier this year for his first Tour title. He also owns two wins on the European Tour.

"It was both good and bad last year. Obviously, there were a lot of positives to take out of being in a playoff, but it's never nice to finish second, so I'm on the wrong side of history there," van der Walt stated. "Hopefully I won't have to be in another one.

The South African matched Mathew Goggin's course record at Lakewood Country Club.

Peter Malnati, who won the Brasil Champions a week before van der Walt's win, carded a 7-under 64 and was joined in second place by Brian Richey and Brad Schneider.

Rhein Gibson and Michael Arnaud are tied for fifth place at minus-6, while Dustin Bray, Ashley Hall, Hao Tong Li and Sam Chien are one stroke back at minus-5.

Van der Walt birdied the first, but followed with three pars in a row. He caught fire in the middle of his round starting with a birdie at the fifth.

The South African made a 50-foot eagle effort at the par-5 sixth and followed with a birdie on seven to move to 5-under.

"It went in a little firmer than I would like. But it went right in the middle," van der Walt said of his eagle putt.

After three more pars, he birdied the 11th. Van der Walt made another birdie two holes later. He parred 14 and 15, then birdied the next two holes to jump to 9-under. Van der Walt closed with a par at the last.

Malnati got on the board with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14. After a trio of pars, he ran off three straight birdies from the 18th. Malnati climbed to minus-7 thanks to birdies at four and seven.

"I had only two holes where I threatened to make a bogey today. After missing the fairway on 17, my eighth hole, I didn't hit a tee shot that wasn't in the middle of the fairway," said Malnati, who is No. 2 on the money list. "I drove the ball very well and that's what this course is all about."

Richey started on the back nine Thursday and birdied three of his first six holes. He notched consecutive birdies at two and three before making five pars in a row from the fourth. Richey closed his round with an eagle at the par-5 ninth.

Schneider got off to a flying start with four birdies in his first six holes. Over the next seven holes, he had one birdie and six pars. He birdied the fifth, but gave that right back with a bogey on No. 6. Schneider came right back with birdies at seven and eight to gain a share of second place.

NOTES: Van der Walt hit just eight of 14 fairways, but hit 15 greens in regulation ... Arnaud got into the field as an alternate for the second straight week.

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