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American golfer Wes Roach
American golfer Wes Roach

Wes Roach recorded a career first after earning a one-stroke lead following the opening round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

Roach carded a seven-under-par to set the early pace at the inaugural PGA Tour tournament in Gillisonville, South Carolina on Thursday.

The unheralded American golfer, who finished with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey, claimed his first lead/co-lead in his 88th Tour start.

World number one Dustin Johnson is tied for second alongside Doc Redman, Chesson Hadley and Erik van Rooyen.

Johnson, who missed the cut in two of his last four starts – including the US PGA Championship, opened with a 65 – his lowest first-round score on the PGA Tour since he won the 2020 Masters with an opening-round 65.

"I mean, you know, I'm playing well," 24-time Tour champion Johnson said. "I feel like I've been playing pretty good all year, just, like I said, I haven't putted well, short game's been a little off, but today I missed it in the right spots when I did miss it, but hit a lot of real quality iron shots and gave myself a lot of looks."

South African Van Rooyen recorded his lowest score on the PGA TOUR this season.

Van Rooyen entered the week with missed cuts in each of his last four starts on Tour, most recently carding scores of 72 and 81 at the PGA Championship.

Jhonattan Vegas is a stroke further back at five under, while there is a 12-way tie for seventh spot.

Brooks Koepka made his first appearance since finishing second to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship.

Four-time major champion Koepka – who has been plagued by knee problems – shot a one-over-par 72.

The last four times Koepka has failed to record an under-par score in the first round, he has gone on to miss the cut – 2021 Masters (two over), 2021 Farmers Insurance Open (even), 2021 The American Express (even) and 2020 Mayakoba Golf Classic (even).

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