Golf: Matt Every, world No. 751, leads Wyndham Championship with sizzling 61

Matt Every plays his second shot on the second hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on Aug 17, 2017.
Matt Every plays his second shot on the second hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on Aug 17, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Matt Every surged into an early lead at the Wyndham Championship on Thursday, firing a nine-under 61 to launch his bid for only the third win of his career.

The world No. 751 carded seven birdies and an eagle to move clear in the clubhouse at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

"I'm driving it way better," Every said. "The last couple years, a lot of people would have quit the game in my position with what has kind of crept into my game."

The 33-year old leads Swede Henrik Stenson by one shot.

Stenson made a late-day charge to post a 62, marking his best round on the PGA Tour.

Webb Simpson, Vaughn Taylor, Cameron Smith, Tim Wilkinson, Brian Campbell, Harold Varner and Sam Saunders all posted 63s.

Every opened his round with a superb eagle on the par-four first, holing a 105-yard wedge from the fairway for a brilliant eagle.

A trio of birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes was followed by another birdie on the par-three seventh to leave Every six under at the turn.

Two more birdies in the closing four holes left him at nine under to complete a stunning round.

Every, a back-to-back winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014 and 2015, has been in a funk in recent seasons, failing to reach a Major since 2015.

"So it's good to be back, playing good. I've got a few things to motivate me right now and I want to play well again," he said.

"Today was really solid. I'm excited for the rest of the week. But it's only one round. I know that."

Every didn't qualify for the PGA Championship last week, something that irked him as he watched on television from home.

"I don't go to bed at night saying there's 144 guys better than me that (played in the PGA Championship)," Every said. "I can't do that. That's kind of a way I might motivate myself a little bit. Just little tricks I play on myself."

Every made the cut in only two of his last half dozen tournaments, though he tied for 14th last month in the Canadian Open.

"It's one round," he said. "I know that. I know that if I keep playing well, I'll be all right."