Alex Noren shares lead with Webb Simpson at 4-under-66
Alex Noren shares the opening round with Webb Simpson at 4-under-par 66. Noren is certainly keeping his game-high in search of a maiden victory on the PGA Tour, coming from a recent loss in an extended playoff against Jason Day at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
Noren fired birdies on 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th holes in his front nine for a 31, followed by a birdie on 16th and a bogey on the last to finish his round. Simpson soon joined him at the top with five birdies and a bogey in his fighting round, keeping his front nine at 32 and back nine at 34.
The opening round was tough with the heavy and swirling wind at PGA National and saw a scoring average of 73, keeping both seven-strokes better than it.
Following the co-leaders by a shot at 67 are Justin Thomas, Morgan Hoffman, Daniel Berger, Mackenzie Hughes, and Louis Oosthuizen. Justin Thomas playing in the group consisting Sergio Garcia and Daniel Berger posted nine bogeys and 13 birdies, all combined, and three bogeys came from Thomas, followed by six from Garcia.
Garcia finished T-56th with 2-over 72 consisting four birdies and six bogeys in his round.
“It was a fun group. I love playing with Sergio, too,” Thomas said. “The three of us had a good time out there. Obviously, Sergio didn’t play as well, but yeah, Berger and I have been good buddies and battling it out for a while. It would be fun to keep it going for a couple of days and be doing the same on Sunday.”
Tiger Woods finishes T-21 with 70
Tiger Woods co-led the field for a while at 2-under-par before his round took a downturn with the heavy winds blowing in and a double-bogey on the par-5 third (his 12th hole), after a disheartening cut miss at the last week’s Genesis Open where he was the host too for the second consecutive year.
“Yeah, I feel like I’m really not that far away,” Woods said. “I’m starting to really get a feel for scoring again and scoring in tournaments, and today was a day that I’m very proud of because I missed the ball in the correct spots. I didn’t do that in L.A., hit the ball in the wrong spots and consequently, I was down the road after two days.”
Woods is joined by Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Graeme McDowell, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood, Taylor Gooch, Tyler Duncan, Scott Piercy, Ryan Moore, Sam Burns, and Harold Varner III at level-par 70 on the board.
Anirban Lahiri stands T-69th
Anirban Lahiri posted 3-over-par 73 in his opening round consisting birdie-less round with three bogeys. Lahiri posted bogeys on the 6th, 17th, and 18th holes, and is joined by Peter Uihlein, Matt Every, Vaughn Taylor, Hudson Swafford, Gary Woodland, Scott Stallings, Martin Flores, Kevin Tway, and Adam Scott.
Adam Scott finishes T-69th
Adam Scott, when started his round with a 21-footer birdie on par-4 11th, followed by a bogey on 12th and a recovery on the 13th, saw him standing under the top-10, but things changed for him after a double-bogey on 15th and a triple-bogey on the par-3 17th, moving him from top-10 to the cut line in no moment to spare.
Even Rory McIlroy saw the same fate when he hit one in the water on the par-5 18th for a double-bogey moving him from a 70 to 2-over 72 finish for a T-56th position on the board with Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Robert Streb, Ollie Schniederjans, Scott Brown, Patrick Rodgers, Cody Gribble, Patrick Reed, Kelly Kraft, and Tyrone Van Aswegen.