Chris Graythen, Getty Images
Dean Wilson makes a birdie putt on the 13th hole during Thursday's first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Wilson currently leads the field with a 6-under-par 66.

AVONDALE, La. — Refreshed after a couple of weeks off, former BYU player Dean Wilson birdied three of the last four holes in windy conditions Thursday for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Wilson played eight straight tournaments before taking the break.

"I've struggled a little bit," Wilson said. "I took a couple weeks off and just went home and tried to clear my brain and just play golf rather than maybe sit on the range and fiddle with my swing. I think that helped."

Briny Baird, Peter Lonard and Chez Reavie opened with 67s.

Steve Elkington, Vaughn Taylor, Jay Williamson, Cameron Beckman and John Mallinger opened with 69s, Woody Austin topped a group of golfers tied at 70 and defending champion Nick Watney had a 71 on the TPC Louisiana.

Twenty-five players in the field this week have qualified for the Masters, including defending Masters champion Zach Johnson (72) and defending British Open champion Padraig Harrington (71).

LPGA TOUR: At Superstition Mountain, Ariz., Angela Stanford shot a career-best, 10-under 62 on Thursday to break the Prospector Course record and take a three-stroke lead over defending champion Lorena Ochoa in the Safeway International.

Stanford, the 2003 ShopRite LPGA Tour Classic winner, had a bogey-free round at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. She had six birdies in a front-nine 30 and birdied the final two holes for a back-nine 32. The 30-year-old Texan broke the course record of 63 set by Cristie Kerr in 2004.

Ochoa, the Mexican star who won the tournament last year for the first of her eight 2007 titles, had nine birdies and two bogeys. Sherri Steinhauer was third after a 66, and Karen Stupples, Jee Young Lee and Yani Tseng and Heather Young shot 67s. Annika Sorenstam birdied the final two holes to match Paula Creamer with a 69.