The Aussie golfer leads the event, at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California, by three strokes from Jhonattan Vegas and Nicolas Colsaerts.
O’Hern made nine birdies and no bogeys in what was his lowest round of the year.
The performance couldn’t have come at a better time for the 40 year old. He came into the week 144th on the money list after just one top 10 and 12 missed cuts, including in five of his last seven starts, in 23 starts this season.
A win here would catapult him into 60th position in the tour money list, well below the 125 cut off mark for players to retain their full Tour cards.
“Oh, I’m always optimistic,” O’Hern said afterwards. “I mean, I know I’ve got my work cut out as far as the money list goes.”
“I know what I need to do. I need to play good golf. I’ve been doing that, I just haven’t had the results unfortunately. Today is a perfect start to what I need to do.”
Mathew Goggin is the next best placed Aussie at 2-under and tied for 23rd, though at 177th on the money list has lots to do to improve his position. Rod Pampling is 1-under and would just slip in at 124th in the money list, with Matt Jones (175) also on 1-under.2012 Frys.com Open Leaderboard