With only two made cuts in his first six appearances in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Brendon de Jonge didn’t exactly have the best of times in his trips around the TPC Louisiana layout.
But Thursday, de Jonge made up for lost time in the first round of the $6.9 million tournament.
Taking advantage of a course made easier by recent rains and a storm during the middle of his first nine holes Thursday, de Jonge had the low score of his career at the par 72, 7,245-yard layout with an 8-under 64 to share the first-round lead with Boo Weekley.
De Jonge put together a bogey-free round on his trip around TPC Louisiana, which was interrupted by a 78-minute rain delay just after 2 p.m. Still, he was able to shave two strokes off his previous low score of 66 in 2012.
“It was definitely a little different,” said de Jonge, who had one of 12 bogey-free rounds Thursday. “It was pretty muddy out there and a little tricky if you missed a couple of greens.”
He didn’t have to worry about that much. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and was 15 of 18 in greens in regulation.
“Yeah, the course got soft,” he said. “Obviously, they had a ton of rain last week. Any rain we had today was going to get pretty soft, pretty quickly.”
De Jonge was especially sharp on the par 4s with seven birdies. He added another birdie at the par 5 11th hole after beginning his round on the back nine with a par.
He had a 4-under 32 on the back side and then made up more ground on Weekley, who shot his 64 earlier in the day, when he made the turn to the front nine.
De Jonge birdied the first hole and then reeled off three consecutive birdies at the fourth through sixth holes. No. 6 played as the second-hardest on the day with only 10 birdies being carded there.
After tying Weekley, he finished his round with three pars in a row.
“I left a couple of (strokes) out there, but I made up for it on the par 4s,” de Jonge said. “I think everybody finishes a round and thinks they could do a little better.
“But any time I shoot a 64, I’m not going to get greedy.”
Still, the 64 matched his lowest score of the season, which he had at the McGladrey Classic.
Yet, he knows his work is far from done with three rounds remaining, especially after 89 of the 144 players who completed the first round Thursday shot under par.
“I think it’s going to take a bunch more low numbers,” de Jonge said. “Typically, it takes a pretty low score to win this tournament, so we have to keep making a bunch of birdies.”
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.