Dallas: Marc Leishman enjoyed the old home of the AT&T Byron Nelson as much as anyone, considering he made the last nine trips there and had one of the best scoring averages in tournament history.

The Australian might take a liking to the new place as well.

Leishman shot a 10-under 61 on the links-style Trinity Forest course to take the first-round lead and was eight shots clear of hometown star Jordan Spieth in the event that returned to Dallas after 35 years at TPC Four Seasons in suburban Irving.

Considering the criticisms of Trinity Forest from others — mentioned vaguely by players who did show up — Leishman wouldn’t have needed much to join that chorus after a history of high finishes in Irving despite a couple of recent missed cuts.

Instead, Leishman opened with an eagle, started the back nine with three straight birdies and reached 9-under with another eagle at the 14th.

The 34-year-old, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had chances to go lower but settled for a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th for the lowest round of his PGA Tour career. He was a stroke shy of the Nelson record.

“Probably would have been the harshest critic, I think,” Leishman said with a smile. “I played very well over there. When I got here and saw instantly, you know, was happy that we’re here and it’s just a cool spot.” (AP|)