CHARLESTOWN gun Blake Windred has made a flying start to his US amateur campaign, carding a three-under 67 at the Pinehurst Country Club No.4 course to be two strokes off the pace.
Windred's playing partner, American Brandon Wu, fired a five-under 65 to lead by a stroke. William Walker (US) recorded the best score on the Pinehurst No.2 course, with a two-under 68.
The players switch courses for the second round after which the top 64 from the 312 starters progress to match play.
Playing in the second last group on Tuesday, Windred mixed two birdies with three bogey to turn one-over.
But he got hot on the back nine, with birdies at the 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th to sign off on a 67.
Windred was 24th after the stroke rounds at Pebble Beach last year before knocked out in the round of 64.
The 21-year-old, who plans to turn professional later this year, is well placed to improve on his seeding second time around.
Windred and Scotsman Sandy Scott were the leading overseas players. Jack Trent (two under) was the only other Australian to break par.