It may not seem like it, but there are other sports besides college basketball! Joel Dahmen and Sepp Straka find themselves tied for the lead at the Valspar Championship while the LPGA and Web.com Tours each feature crowded leaderboards.
Say it paint so!
The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is always one of the most difficult courses to par on the PGA Tour and Thursday was no different. Only 28 guys shot 69 (-2) or better over the first round, and the lead sits at 66. Joel Dahmen and rookie Sepp Straka are tied at the top while a trio of players sit one shot back. Valspar Championship Leaderboard
Dahmen, da myth, da Straka
Both Joel Dahmen and Sepp Straka are relative unknowns to average golf fans. Dahmen is in the midst of his second full season on tour while Straka is still in his rookie season. The pair combined for eleven birdies on Thursday to set the pace in Tampa. Dahmen is coming off a solid T-12 finish at The Players last week while Straka is still looking to find himself on tour. He has made just three of nine cuts this season but does have two top-20 finishes. A win at Innisbrook would be a life-changing event for either player.
Other Leaderboard Notes
The trio of Luke Donald, Russell Knox, and Kevin Kisner sits just one shot back of the leaders. They each shot 67 on Sunday in search of victories that have long escaped them. Donald has gone the longest without a victory, entering this week ranked outside the top 900 in the world. Knox also made the first albatross in Valspar history on Thursday.
Keegan Bradley continues his solid play. The flinchy American shot 68 on Thursday, looking to add to his run of top-20 finishes in 2019.
Former podcast guest Roberto Castro also shot 68 on Thursday. He is tied for 6th with Bradley and veteran Shawn Stefani. SS made some noise during the first round after holing his second shot on 16 for eagle. One of Stefani’s bucket list items is a deer-hunting trip to Iowa.
Chitimacha Louisiana Championship
The Web.com Tour returns this week after having more than a month off to rest. American Vince Covello shot out to the first-round lead after shooting 63 on Thursday. He is being chased by a very crowded leaderboard that includes four players just one shot back. 23 players are within four shots of the lead and all seem to have a shot this weekend. Leaderboard
Marcus Fraser and Nacho Elvira find themselves tied at the top through one round at the Maybank Championship. The pair combined for sixteen birdies and both shot 65 on Thursday. Leaderboard
Celine Boutier got off to a fast start at the LPGA’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Thursday. The Frenchwoman shot an opening 64 to hold a one-shot lead over a large group of players. Leaderboard
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Shotgun Start: Spicy Kenny Perry takes, Louisiana Open intel, and Brian Gay facts
This is the Friday episode that almost wasn’t. After some scheduling trouble, Andy and Brendan whip around the world of golf quickly to get you to the weekend. We discuss the eclectic leaderboard at the Valspar, which leads to a diversion on Kenny Perry. We also get into the possibility that Pat Reed now stinks. Then we relay some intel we’ve received from a source on the ground at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, which is now a must-visit event. The learning continues with our Fan Vote Friday Junior segment, where we deliver some fascinating background on Brian Gay and Alex Cejka. If you’re not into learning facts about the Louisiana Open and journeymen PGA Tour pros, then this is not the episode for you. We wrap with a Flashback Friday on yet another instance of Ernie Els breaking Andy’s heart. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify