Castro Leads After First Round (Photos)

Roberto Castro’s putter was as hot as the weather on Thursday in the first round of the $6.5 million AT&T National at Congressional Country Club. The Georgia Tech graduate used only 23 putts in 90-degree temperatures to shoot a 5-under-par 66, good for a two-stroke lead over Billy Horschel, Bud Cauley and Graham DeLaet.

“The rough’s brutal,” said Castro, who was one of only 27 players to break par. “There’s not a lot of birdies out there. I just kept plugging along.”

Castro, who earned his PGA TOUR card playing on the Tour in 2011, has played well in 2013, making 11 of 19 cuts and posting six top-25 finishes. His best showing is a tie for 16th at the Waste Management Open.

Horschel was a winner earlier this year at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He has been solid all year, missing only one cut in 16 starts. He leads the PGA TOUR with seven top-10 finishes. Horschel recently tied for fourth at the U.S. Open.

Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and youngster Jordan Spieth head a group of eight players at 2-under. Former AT&T champions K.J. Choi (2007) and Nick Watney (2011) are at 1-under, along with notables Jason Day, Vijay Singh, Angel Cabrera and Stewart Cink.

Two-time winner and defending champion Tiger Woods is unable to compete this week due to a left elbow injury. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation.

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