Best read with a fresh roasted cup o’ joe
We are living deep, deep under par this week, folks. Through one round, 63 leads on both the PGA and European Tours while 65 tops the Web.com’s KC Golf Classic. Scoring was especially prevalent at Trinity Forest as the average score was under 70.
The first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson was a birdie bonanza. Denny McCarthy leads following his opening 63, but there are more than 20 players within three shots. McCarthy had a slow start to his day and found himself two over on the 5th tee. He went on to birdie 10 of his final 13 holes, shot a 29 on the back, and led the field in SG: Putting. Leaderboard
Denny McCarthy has quietly put together a solid year on the PGA Tour. In just his second full year, McCarthy has two top 10 finishes and has made nearly $600k. He didn’t have a great 2018 season, but played extremely well in the Web.com Tour playoffs to earn his 2019 card. A former All-American at Virginia, Denny has all the skills needed to win on the highest level.
Other Leaderboard Notes
Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge sit one shot off the lead after Thursday 64s. The pair have a total of one top 3 finish in their combined careers so we’ll see if either can stay in the mix this weekend.
Despite making two bogies over his final four holes, Brooks Koepka finds himself just two shots off the lead. Everyone’s favorite Brandel Chamblee clipartist made eight birdies on Thursday as he begins his final tune up before the PGA Championship.
Eight other players are tied with Brooksy after the first round. Among this group, only Sung Kang is in the top 100 of the 2019 FedEx Cup standings. Others in the hodge-podge include University of Texas graduate Kramer Hickok, Matt Jones, and Jonas Blixt.
2019 event winners Keith Mitchell and C.T. Pan are among the group three off the lead. Mitchell finished in a tie for 3rd at his event last season and clearly has good memories around Trinity Forest. J.J. Spaun, who also finished T-3 last season, sits three shots back after the first round.
Playing on a sponsor’s exemption, Scottie Scheffler shot a first round 67. Scheffler has finished inside the top seven in each of his last four Web.com Tour events this year and sits second in the year long points race.
Speaking of sponsor’s exemptions, Tony Romo shot 76 on Thursday and finds himself T-148. The former Dallas QB was two under through eight holes, but made two double bogies and three bogies on the way to the clubhouse.
Along with Hickok and Scheffler, three other University of Texas graduates shot 69 or better on Thursday. Beau Hossler (67), Jordan Spieth (68), and Doug Ghim (69) all got off to solid starts on Thursday. Spieth has notoriously fell to 39th in the OWGR, but will still have a chance to complete the career grand slam next week.
All in all, 80 players broke 70 on Thursday. Wayyy under par.
Modern Template Holes
Andy wrote a piece about the par-5 7th at Trinity Forest, a Coore & Crenshaw design that you will see at many of their courses. Check out the features and other examples of this design here.
Motin, mo’ problems
The Web.com Tour’s KC Golf Classic also got underway on Thursday. On a day that saw just seven players break 70, Motin Yeung shot an eye-opening 65 and leads by two shots. Yeung hails from Hong Kong and is playing in just his fifth event of the year. Steve Wheatcroft and Steve Marino are the closest chasers after opening with 67s. Leaderboard
England’s Matthew Jordan leads the British Masters after an opening 63 on Thursday. Matt Wallace (65), Marcus Kinhult (65), and Lee Westwood (66) are amongst the challengers. Leaderboard
Glen Day leads through (most) of the first round of the Regions Tradition on the Champions Tour. Day has two holes to finish in his opening round and currently sits at seven under par. Leaderboard
16-year-old Robert Kelich shot 61 to win his US Open local qualifier on Wednesday. Kelich made nine birdies and an eagle on his way to the course record and a six-shot victory. Full Story
The Latest Podcasts and Articles
Episode 136: Dave Zinkand
Golf course architect Dave Zinkand joins the podcast to talk about his career. Andy and Dave discuss his time in college at Cornell and the Dreer Award and the opportunity to study abroad that came with it. Dave talks about how that experience altered his perception of golf course architecture and served as the foundation for his career. The conversation then flows through the distinct differences Dave experienced working for Arthur Hills versus architects such as Gil Hanse and Coore & Crenshaw. Andy and Dave then talk about a few of Dave’s project work at Desert Forest, Old Elm and upcoming work to Canal Shores. Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Shotgun Start: PGA coverage prep, Danny Chops’ big break, and Romo’s rough day
We begin with an edict from Andy about complaints over next week’s PGA Championship coverage. This leads to Brendan reading some of the amusing and terrifying show descriptions for TNT programming during the season’s second major. Then we get into Danny Chops’ big moment, and ponder if a pro has ever gone from announcing PGA Tour Live to a featured group on PGA Tour Live within a month. Then we review Tony Romo’s day, which was not great, but still came in below the over-under line set for his first round score. The results of Fan Vote Friday Jr. have us discussing the derivation of Kris Blanks’ name, a past tweet about coitus that had him apologizing, Beau Hossler’s shoulder injury, and the little mountain town where Jimmy Knous hails from in Colorado and if he should be rightful PGA Tour scientist, not the “fraudulent physicist.” In news, we hit on the footage of John Peterson doing Happy Gilmore swings on the range of just his second event in his comeback as well as a backboarding scandal erupting at a major championship. We wrap with a Flashback Friday that takes us down memory lane to the Brendon Todd era. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify