Battler Ryan Brehm makes ace for share of PGA lead
Ryan Brehm turned a good round into a memorable one, making a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th at Innisbrook for a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead at the Valspar Championship.
Stephan Jaeger also had a 66, while Adam Schenk joined them with the low score in the afternoon on the Copperhead course.
Jordan Spieth, back at Innisbrook for the first time in five years, had a bogey-free round and was particularly sharp with the putter, making birdie putts of 60 feet and 30 feet on his way to a 67. Also at 67 were former US Open champion Lucas Glover and Maverick McNealy.
This is the first lead for Brehm since he won the Puerto Rico Open last year in his final start to try to keep a PGA Tour card.
It hasn't been the smoothest road since then. Brehm has made only three cuts this season - one of them at Kapalua - and is coming off an 80 in the second round last week at The Players Championship.
"We've been grinding for a little while since then to try and find some good form again, and hopefully ... it's been showing signs of good play," he said.
His ace came with a 6-iron from 196 yards, and he closed with a par. It was his 11th time in the 60s in 43 rounds on the PGA Tour this season.
Jaeger had seven birdies in the morning, which started with temperatures cold enough for some players to wear beanies and extra layers,.
Schenk finished his round with a 10-foot par save on the par-3 eighth hole, and then after going bunker-to-bunker on the ninth, made a par putt from 5 feet.
Tommy Fleetwood was at 68, while the group at 69 included two-time defending champion Sam Burns and Justin Thomas, at No.10 the highest-ranked player in the field.
There are only two Australians in the field - Cameron Percy and Harrison Endycott.
Both shot one-over 72 to be tied 58th.