CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Matt Bettencourt, David Hearn and Darron Stiles each shot 6-under-par 66 Thursday and are tied for the lead at the New Zealand PGA Championship.
The trio took the lead despite drawing an afternoon start time and having to deal with higher winds that hampered scoring.
Another three golfers -- D.A. Points, Rick Price and Dave Schultz -- were tied for fourth at 67 and six more were at 4-under 68.
Stiles played his first 12 holes in 7-under but gave back two strokes in No. 13 when he drove into the rough and then missed a 5-footer for bogey. He settled for a double-bogey. He answered with a birdie at 14 and then four pars to finish off his 66.
Hearn, playing the back nine first, had birdies on Nos. 12-15. He parred 10 of the next 11 holes -- getting a birdie at the par-5 second hole -- and tied for the lead with a 2 at the par-3 ninth hole.
Bettencourt was 3-under after his first nine holes and, with an eagle at the 10th hole and birdies at 12 and 14, had the outright lead. But he posted a 6 at the par-4 17th and a birdie at 18 pulled him into the first-place tie.