Casey two shots clear in Transitions Championship

England's Paul Casey fired a seven-under-par 64 to secure a two-shot lead after the first round of the PGA Tour Transitions Championship at Innisbrook last night.

England's Paul Casey fired a seven-under-par 64 to secure a two-shot lead after the first round of the PGA Tour Transitions Championship at Innisbrook last night.

Casey's bogey-free round on the Copperhead course at Palm Harbor included seven birdies and saw him set the pace ahead of American trio Nick Watney, Garrett Willis and Scott Stallings and Scotland's Martin Laird, who all carded 66s.

"I got lucky, got a few good bounces and rode it well and made some putts," said Casey. "I'm very happy with that.

"The nice thing today was we had some favourable wind. It was great golfing weather. I didn't even see the fog this morning."

Watney, who headed into this tournament on the back of the biggest win of his career at the World Golf Championship in Miami last weekend, also had seven birdies but dropped two shots over his final six holes.

Defending champion Jim Furyk was among a group of 10 players a further shot back.

He was joined by John Senden, who would have been even higher up the leaderboard had he not had to call a one-shot penalty on himself on the second hole.

The Australian saw the ball move at the top of his swing with a three wood from the rough but was committed to the shot and could not help hitting it.

"I was unlucky at the beginning of the day," Senden said. "I started off well, birdied the first hole, and my second shot on the par-five fifth, I was basically right in my back swing and the ball just moved probably a quarter of an inch roll slowly back. Still hit the shot.

"So went to the PGA Tour official and asked the question, what's the rule? And he said, hit your shot and add one. So I was unlucky on that shot. But turned it around nicely on seven and nine, and then it played well around the back nine."

Spain's Sergio Garcia signed for a bogey-free 68 on his first PGA Tour round in seven months. World number one Martin Kaymer of Germany and 17-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero were alongside Garcia among a group of 15 players tied for 16th.

Play was suspended due to darkness with three players - Russell Knox, Joseph Bramlett and Bobby Gates - still on the course. The trio will return early today to complete their first rounds.

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