- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Billy Horschel birdied three of his first four holes Thursday morning on the way to the early clubhouse lead in the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

Horschel, who tied for fourth place at the U.S. Open two weeks ago, began the first round with a 51-foot birdie on the par-3 10th hole. He smiled as he walked to recover his ball from the cup, acknowledging the thin gallery before 8 a.m.

He then made his 6-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th after driving the ball in the left rough. He followed that by making birdie on the par-3 12th with a 14-foot lag put that rolled into the center of the cup.

Horschel, 26, missed a 10-foot birdie put along the right edge on No. 15, and his 20-foot birdie attempt on No. 16 rested one revolution short of falling. He flexed his knees and raised his putter as the ball stopped on the edge of the cup.

He later bogeyed No. 3 before getting the stroke back at No. 8 to finish at 3-under.

University of Virginia grad Ben Kohles, Jim Furyk and Nicolas Colsaerts were in at 2-under with 69s and a high-profile group including Vijay Singh, Nick Watney, Bill Haas and Angel Cabrera was in at 1-under.

• Rich Campbell can be reached at rcampbell@washingtontimes.com.

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