Day 1 is in the books, and the greens lived up to the billing. And the billing was “fast”. I don’t think the length played near as much of a factor, but certainly facing 200 yards into greens this slick does give even the best golfer pause. Up and downs were no certainty either. There were plenty of hard lip-outs causing 3 putts galore. Three times as many players shot 75 or worse than shot 70 or better.
Our Boys representing the Red & Black fared about average. Bubba went out early and bogeyed his first 3 holes and 6 in a 7 hole stretch (but did close out 2 under on his last 3 holes). Swafford had no birdies, and 6 bogeys on the day to tie Bubba with a 77. Paul Claxton did well, considering that tournament golf is not his full-time job. He shot 82. Chris Kirk had 3 bogeys on the front, 4 more on the back plus a double. That equals a nine over par 80.
Now for those ‘Dawgs in the top 100. Russell Henley only had 3 pars on his first nine and shot 39 (+3). He had 8 pars and 1 bogey on his last nine to give him a 75 total. Brian Harman only hit half the fairways and less than half the greens. But the lefty exhibited his deft short game (including a chip in), shot 31 on the back nine and a 69 total, good for a tie for 8th place.
And Kevin Kisner played a spectacular round, carding 6 birdies against only 2 bogeys. His 67 is tied for the lead, and I believe he led the field in birdies.
Friday tee times:
Russell Henley and Paul Claxton off #1 tee at 7:40 am.
Brian Harman starts off #1 at 8:30 am.
Chris Kirk is at 8:35 am off #10.
Kevin Kisner is one group behind Kirk at 8:45 am.
Bubba puts the ball on the tee at 1:25 pm off #1.
And Swafford will put the peg in the ground to see what goes down at 2:00 pm off #10.
There are thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon, so our boys playing early may face a faster course than those who play in, or after, the rain. But Mother Nature is fickle and does not shine on everyone’s backside equally. Coverage is on TNT from 1:00-7:00 pm.
And as always...