PAOLI, Pa., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Coming off his best finish in more than three months, Billy Andrade fired a bogey-free, 5-under-par 66 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the SEI Pennsylvania Classic.
Andrade shared the lead midway through last week's Bell Canadian Open before finishing 70-73 and tying for 12th. Still, it was his best showing since tying for ninth at The Memorial at the end of May.
"I played well last week. I had a little rough start on Sunday and I hung in there. It was probably one of the best 73s I shot in a while," Andrade said. "I think I got the flu from my daughter and I have been resting up for today. I went out and tried to feed off last week's play."
Andrade is 56th on the money list with $875,170. But the $594,000 first prize would place him close to qualifying for the lucrative season-ending Tour Championship.
"I think when you win a tournament right now, you are pretty close if not in," he said. "Usually guys who win these tournaments this time of year are going to leap over a lot of players. It all depends on what your goal is. Is your goal to survive? Is your goal to play some more golf? Is your goal to pack it in?
"Everyone has their own agenda and right now I really would like to play in the Tour Championship."
One of three players to win four tournaments in one year on the Canadian Tour, Staton is still feeling his way on the PGA Tour. Since tying for fourth at the Tucson Open in February, he has missed the cut in 14 of 21 starts.
"It seems like every time I look forward to a tournament and I'm ready to go and I prepare myself, I shoot just a mediocre round the first round. So getting off to a fast start is something new for me this year," Staton said.
Only one player in the top 10 on the money list is entered in this event, which returns to Waynesborough after a year at the Laurel Valley Country Club.