By Elias Sports Bureau Inc.
• Camillo Villegas surprised a lot of people Thursday by shooting a 6-under, 65 at the first round of The Barclays. It is the third time this season that Villegas has shot a round of 6 under or better on the PGA TOUR. Villegas’s previous two other auspicious opening rounds this season did not prove to be good omens. His 6-under, 64 at The Honda Classic gave him the first-round lead, however, he would go on to miss the cut. His 7-under, 64 in the first round of the John Deere Classic last month put him in a tie for first after Thursday, however, he finished the tournament in 71st place.
Villegas shot 31 on the front nine. It was his best front or back nine on TOUR since shooting a 6-under 30 on the back nine of his opening round at the 2010 FBR Open.
• Now this a pretty shocking statistic: Tiger Woods’s bogey-free first round at the The Barclays was just his second bogey-free opening round over the last four years! His only other blemish-free first round since the start of 2010 came way back in January of 2011, at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Dating back to August of 2005, Tiger has won five of the last seven tournaments in which he has opened a tournament with a bogey-free round.
• Speaking of bogey-free rounds, Kevin Stadler holds the overnight lead at The Barclays thanks to making all pars and birdies today en route to shooting a 7-under, 64. It was Stadler’s second bogey-free round on TOUR this year. He shot a bogey-free 65 in the final round of this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.
Stadler is coming off back-to-back missed cuts, failing to see weekend action at the PGA Championship and the Wyndham Championship. It’s par for the course on the PGA TOUR this year for a first-round leader to come out of nowhere. If Stadler holds on to the lead at the completion of the first round Friday morning, it would mark the 10th time this season that a player would have at least a share of the first-round lead after not making the cut in his previous two events. Notables on that list include Keegan Bradley at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (after missing consecutive cuts at the the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and THE PLAYERS Championship) and Marc Leishman, who held a share of the first-round lead at the Masters after missing the cuts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and the Shell Houston Open.