SAN MARTIN -- Nick O'Hern took in his first playoff baseball game Tuesday night and saw the A's stave off elimination.
O'Hern can relate.
Sitting at 144th on the money list, O'Hern delivered the best round of his PGA Tour career Thursday at the Frys.com Open, firing a 9-under 62 at CordeValle Golf Club to take a three-shot lead over Jhonattan Vegas, Nicolas Colsaerts and Derek Ernst.
"Today I holed pretty much everything I looked at, so that's always nice," said O'Hern, who needed just 23 putts and sunk nine birdies. "I was on a bit of a roll there."
A year after missing the cut in this event, O'Hern strung together two separate runs of three straight birdies on Nos. 17, 18 and 1, and Nos. 3-5 on a dreary and drizzly afternoon.
"Last year I think I made two birdies in two rounds, so I've certainly eclipsed that," said O'Hern, a 40-year-old Australian native seeking his first PGA Tour win. "I felt very relaxed, and the putter was working well. To be honest, after last year I thought this golf course was going to be pretty tough for me."
O'Hern blitzed past morning leader Vegas, whose 65 matched his best round on the PGA Tour this season. Vegas is searching for his first win since claiming last year's Bob Hope Classic, which was just the second start of his rookie season.
"I feel like I haven't been 100 percent with any part of my game," Vegas said. "Putting has been bad. Ball striking
Vegas was joined at 6-under by Colsaerts, who admitted before the tournament that he was brimming with confidence after helping the Europeans stage their biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history.
That showed in Colsaerts' play Thursday, as he bolted to a 4-under 31 on the front nine, and birdied Nos. 15 and 18 to card a 65.
The shot of the day belonged to Ernst, who gained a share of second place when he holed out from 125 yards for eagle on No. 18 just before dusk. The recent UNLV grad Monday qualified for the Frys.com Open with a 4-under 68 at Bayonet Golf Course.
Charles Howell III briefly grabbed the morning lead with a birdie on the 210-yard par-3 16th to reach 6-under, but he dropped a stroke on the 17th to finish at 5 under.
"I'm really happy," Howell said. "I played well. The golf course can get you in some spots, so I'll take it."
Also at 66 were John Mallinger, Jonas Blixt, Greg Owen and Gary Woodland.
Among notables, Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III opened with a bogey-free 69; three major winner Vijay Singh posted a 1-under 70; Ernie Els and defending tournament champion Bryce Molder shot 71; and John Daly 75.
For O'Hern, it has been a tough season -- one marked by more missed cuts (12) than made (11).
"It's certainly been my toughest season as a professional," he said. "I can't put a finger on it, but I feel for the last two or three months things are starting to turn around. I missed the FedEx Cup playoffs, so I've had plenty of time to practice and think about things."
O'Hern tied for third at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June, but he has no other finishes in the top 25, putting his playing status for next season in jeopardy.
"It's very hard to keep that out of the front of your mind, but you've got to put it in the back of your mind and play golf," O'Hern said.