Camilo Villegas got away from golf for a little while, and his game came back.
A recharged Villegas shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina.
North Carolina natives Webb Simpson and William McGirt shot 64, and Scott Langley, Heath Slocum, Paul Casey, Andrew Loupe and Martin Laird were another stroke back in the final tournament before the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.
Villegas hasn't won since 2010 and has only two top-10 finishes in the last three years. After pulling out of the Canadian Open after one round last month, he spent the past week back in his native Colombia for "a little recharge" -- leaving his clubs behind in Florida.
"I just thought it was appropriate to hop on a plane and see mom and dad and recharge a little bit," Villegas said.
It helped him make a late charge up the Sedgefield Country Club leader board.
Starting on the back nine, he had three early birdies before getting even hotter late: He followed his birdie on the fourth with an eagle on the par-5 fifth, placing his second shot 3 feet from the hole. He claimed sole possession of the lead by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventh.
First-round leads, though, haven't been kind to Villegas lately. He held two of them last year but missed the cut at the Honda Classic and finished 71st at the John Deere.
"I've also played great rounds and played some good ones after that," Villegas said. "It's a matter of just coming out here and playing good golf tomorrow. There shouldn't be any relationship between Thursday-Friday and Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday."
LPGA: American Lexi Thompson and South Korea's Meena Lee opened with 6-under 66s to share the lead at the LPGA Championship, the tour's fourth major of the season.
Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner in April for her first major title, and Lee each made eight birdies and two bogeys at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York, to finish a shot ahead of ahead of Brittany Lincicome, Lisa McCloskey and rookie Jennifer Kirby.
"It's all about confidence," Thompson said. "You just have to go into every shot just telling yourself you're going to pull it off."
Shanshan Feng, the tournament winner two years ago, was tied for sixth at 68 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr.
Catriona Matthew, runner-up a year ago to Inbee Park, was tied at 69 with seven other players. Park was at even-par 72, one shot better than Pleasanton's Paula Creamer.
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, a three-time winner this year, started on the back nine and birdied three of the first five holes, then faltered with three straight bogeys before the turn. She finished at 71.
U.S. players have won the first three majors this year, including Thompson's Kraft Nabisco victory. Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women's Open and Mo Martin captured the Women's British Open.
Wie, though, is not playing because of an injury to her right index finger, and Martin had to cope with a sore thumb and shot a 72.
European: Danish star Thomas Bjorn shot a 66 for a share of the lead at the Made in Denmark tournament in Aalborg, boosting his chances of securing a spot on Europe's Ryder Cup team. Felipe Aguilar and Bradley Dredge were also 5 under at Himmerland.