Mexico: Unheralded American Will Claxton reeled off four consecutive birdies on his way to a five-under-par 66 and a one-shot lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico on Thursday.

Making only his fifth start on the PGA Tour, the 30-year-old launched his birdie run at the par-four second before ending a windy day on the El Camaleon course a stroke in front of seven players.

Claxton, who has played most of his professional golf on the satellite circuits, has recorded one top-25 finish in three appearances on the 2012 PGA Tour, a tie for 23rd at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Britain's Greg Owen fired a seven-birdie 67 to share second place with Americans Charles Howell III, Marc Turnesa, John Huh, Matt Every and Mark D. Anderson, and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares.

"It was a little bit windy early ... but it didn't really pick up until our sixth or seventh hole, so we got to get a little bit in the calm," Howell, a double champion on the PGA Tour, said after carding five birdies and one bogey.

"There's a long way to go yet, though. Fortunately I was able to drive the ball in play today, and that gives you a good chance around here to score."

Former world number one Nick Price of Zimbabwe was three strokes off the pace after opening with a 69 at the resort of Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya.

Johnson Wagner, who won last year's title in a playoff with fellow American Spencer Levin, carded a 73.