CARL PETTERSSON PICKED up where he left off at last week’s US PGA Championship to take the first-round lead at the Wyndham Championship.
The Swede was in contention for a maiden major title heading into the final round at Kiawah Island until Rory McIlroy blew the field away with a final-round masterclass and eight-stroke win, with the Pettersson finishing tied for third.
Pettersson maintained his impressive form to fire an eight-under 62 at the Sedgefield Country Club and lead by one shot from David Mathis and Tim Clark.
Pettersson hit a purple patch toward the end of his front nine, rolling in four straight birdies before four more on the run in rounded out a bogey-free round that keeps him on track for a second PGA Tour win this season.
Local hope Mathis and South African Clark also carded blemish-free rounds in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Americans Tom Gillis and Scott Stallings both managed opening-round 64s to sit two shots off the lead, while compatriot Matt Every is in outright seventh at five under.
A chasing pack of 11 players, including reigning champion Webb Simpson and Ryder Cup hopeful Nick Watney, share eighth place a shot further back.
The likes of Sergio Garcia, Brandt Snedeker and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel are on three under.