Fowler shot an opening-round 66 in Phoenix.
Scotsman Martin Laird birdied three of his last four holes to sign for a 68 and sit four shots off the lead. Magee’s drive was heading for possible trouble and headed towards the group ahead, but his ball took a lucky deflection off Tom Byrum’s putter which diverted it towards the hole. and in!
Oh, and streakers, just like on the 17th hole during this week’s Pro-Am.
“The putter was hot the first nine holes”, Haas, a six-time PGA Tour victor, told reporters after a round that included a 30-foot birdie at the second hole, his 11th.
The 47-year-old Mickelson had a 70 in his record-tying 29th start in the tournament he won in 1996, 2005 and 2013. He won two weeks ago in the California desert at La Quinta to jump to No. 2 in the world.
His last five holes: birdie, bogey, triple, double, birdie. He was trying to join Arnold Palmer as the only other player to win this event three years in a row. “It was anything but that”, the five-time major champion said. His best finish this season is a tie for 50th at the CareerBulder and he’s mired in 176th place in the FedEx Cup race.
Matsuyama told Kyodo News after the first round on Thursday at TPC Scottsdale: “My putting wasn’t bad, I just couldn’t sink some”. Hopefully, we’ll have another good week here in the early part of the year. “(He) just kind of humbles you, grounds you a bit, and makes you realize that there’s a lot bigger things than just playing golf”.
“So I don’t know if I will or not, but it will be unbelievable to play with them two again tomorrow”.
Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers both have somewhat chequered histories at TPC Scottsdale, Ogilvy making 10 cuts in 15 starts though never cracking the top-10 while Chalmers has a best of T15 in 10 attempts.
“I live a couple miles from here”, Rahm said. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm all in feature in what promises to be a fiercely competitive event, which brings together 22 of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings.
Kevin Krest is the author of the entertaining PK Frazier series of sports suspense novels and the co-host of the weekly “The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports” broadcast.