Alexandre Rocha says one of the reasons he has never won on the PGA Tour is that he often gets off to slow starts.
That wasn't a problem Friday when the 34-year-old Brazilian opened birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle on the way to the top of the second-round leaderboard in the Reno-Tahoe Open.
"I was fortunate to get off to the hottest start I think I've ever had. It's the hottest start I think I've ever had in my professional career," said Rocha, who finished the day with seven birdies, three bogeys and the eagle.
He had a two-day total of 24 points in the modified Stableford scoring system that rewards aggressive play with eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
J.J. Henry had his second eagle of the tourney, and John Mallinger had six birdies Friday to move into a tie for second at 22.
First-round leader Andres Romero of Argentina and Arjun Atwal of India had 21 points, and 2010 Reno-Tahoe winner Matt Bettencourt followed with 20. John Daly was seventh with 19. He birdied six of his last 10 holes.
Rocha has won nine times around the world since 2000, when he was an All-America selection at Mississippi State and recalls once opening a round with 12 consecutive 3s.
"But never as a professional either in Europe or on the PGA Tour have I started with 5 under through four holes," he said. "It always helps to create momentum, which is something I've been missing all year long."
Starting on the back nine on the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf & Country Club layout, Rocha made a pair of 10-foot birdie putts and added a third when he hit his approach to 4 feet on the 429-yard, par-4 12th.