Golf: Reed, Laird into early lead at Barclays

Martin Laird of Scotland plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round.
Martin Laird of Scotland plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Patrick Reed fired a five-under-par 66 to set the early pace with Martin Laird of Scotland in the opening round of The Barclays Championship on Thursday (Aug 25).

World number 14 Reed rattled off 10 consecutive pars over the opening 10 holes before hitting three birdies and an eagle over the final eight holes at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale.

Reed's impressive opening round gave him a share of the lead with Laird as the early flights came home.

Reed, who teed off on the back nine, grabbed the first of his three birdies on the second, before eagling the par-five fourth hole with a 16-foot putt.

Further birdies on six and seven completed a flawless display for the 26-year-old from San Antonio, who is chasing a fifth PGA Tour victory.

Laird, meanwhile, also produced a blemish-free round, carding a 66 after sinking five birdies and no bogeys.

World number one and defending champion Jason Day of Australia meanwhile was two off the pace, after a 68.

Day recovered from a bogey on the second to carve out four birdies and 12 pars for his three-under-par total.

But it was a disappointing return to the day job for newly crowned Olympic champion Justin Rose of England.

Rose, who won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro as golf made its return after a 112-year absence, shot a two-over-par 73 after an erratic first round.

Rose appeared to be in good shape after back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth. But a bogey on the ninth was followed by four more on the back nine to leave him seven shots off the pace.