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Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Two-time winner this season Michael Putnam and Tim Wilkinson shot matching 6-under 65s on Thursday to share the lead at the end of the first round of the News Sentinel Open.

If Putnam is to go on and win this event, he will automatically get a promotion to the PGA Tour.

Monday qualifier Blayne Barber, Nate Smith and Byron Smith each carded a 5- under 66 to sit in a share of third place.

Sejun Yoon, who also qualified for this event on Monday, sits in a large group of players tied for sixth at 4-under 67. Putnam's brother, Andrew, is among those players tied with Yoon.

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