(Reuters) - Doc Redman collected seven birdies in his last eight holes to grab a share of the early first-round lead with Scott Stallings at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on Thursday.
Redman, runner-up at last year's Mortgage Classic and still chasing a first PGA Tour win, made a quiet start at the Detroit Golf Club, picking up a single birdie on his outward nine.
But after taking his only bogey of the round at the 10th, the 22-year-old caught fire by carding birdies the rest of the way home except the par-five 14th for a seven-under 65.
Stallings got off to a birdie/bogey start but was error free the rest of the way, capping his round with back-to-back birdies to join fellow American Redman atop the leaderboard.
Simpson won last month's RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina but pulled out of the Travelers Championship after his daughter, who later tested negative, showed symptoms of COVID-19.
The fourth PGA Tour event since the season returned from its coronavirus shutdown, the tournament is being played without fans. A sixth player, American Chad Campbell, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)