'11 Nelson runner-up Palmer leads with opening 64

Keegan Bradley chips to the second green during the first round of the PGA Byron Nelson Golf Championship.
Keegan Bradley chips to the second green during the first round of the PGA Byron Nelson Golf Championship. ( Associated Press )

Thursday, May 17, 2012

IRVING, Texas — Ryan Palmer shot a bogey-free 6-under 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Byron Nelson Championship, a year after losing a playoff to Keegan Bradley in the event.

Marc Leishman and Alex Cejka were a stroke back. Matt Kuchar, coming off a victory Sunday in The Players Championship last weekend, topped a group of seven players at 66.

Last year, Palmer birdied the 72nd hole to force a playoff, then hit his approach on the first extra hole into the greenside water and lost to Bradley, who opened his title defense with a 67.

Phil Mickelson, back at the Nelson for the first time in five years, shot 70 with two bogeys and two birdies.