NAPA, Calif (AP) — Russell Knox shot a 9-under 63 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Safeway Open, the first event of the new PGA Tour season.

After missing the FedExCup playoffs by two spots to close last season, Knox had seven birdies and eagled the 550-yard, par-5 fifth hole.

Sam Burns, Cameron Percy and Bo Hoag were a stroke back. Two-time Safeway Open champ Brendan Steele joined Pat Perez at 65.

Knox is seeking his first victory since 2016 when he captured both the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and Travelers Championship for his only PGA Tour wins.

Historically a slow starter, the 35-year-old Scot had the first-round lead at Silverado Resort despite more early struggles.

Knox hit his first tee shot of the day into the rough and had to scramble for par. After two-putting on the…

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