By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Here's a hole-by-hole look of Keegan Bradley's opening 10-under 60 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, as he set a course record and tied a tournament record. Bradley started his round off the 10th tee.
|10||4||Par||Two-putted from 26 feet, 7 inches|
|11||4||Birdie||Approach shot to 7 feet, 4 inches; made putt|
|12||4||Birdie||Approach shot to 8 feet, 8 inches; made putt|
|13||3||Birdie||Tee shot to3 feet, 5 inches; made putt|
|14||4||Par||Two-putted from 10 feet, 5 inches|
|15||4||Birdie||Approach shot missed green to left; holed out from 40 feet, 9 inches|
|16||5||Birdie||Drove green in two; two-putted from 53 feet, 3 inches|
|17||3||Par||Two-putted from 7 feet, 4 inches|
|18||4||Bogey||Bailed out right on tee shot, forced to chip back to fairway; missed 15-foot par putt|
|1||4||Bogey||Found fairway bunker with tee shot; missed par putt from 7 feet, 8 inches|
|2||3||Birdie||Tee shot to 17 feet; made putt|
|3||4||Par||Two-putted from 20 feet, 11 inches|
|4||4||Birdie||Approach shot to 9 feet, 11 inches; made putt|
|5||3||Birdie||Tee shot to 14 feet, 11 inches; made putt|
|6||4||Par||Two-putted from 10 feet, 9 inches|
|7||5||Eagle||Drove green in two; made putt from 10 feet, 3 inches|
|8||4||Birdie||Approach shot to 11 feet, 8 inches; made putt|
|9||4||Birdie||Approach shot to 3 feet, 3 inches; made putt|
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas --Despite suffering two bogeys in the middle of his round, Keegan Bradley produced the best round ever shot at the TPC Four Seasons Resort course, turning in a 10-under 60 on Thursday morning in the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
In setting the course record, Bradley carded 10 birdies and one eagle.
"I birdied more holes than I didn't, which is rare," Bradley said. "It was just an explosive type of round."
He was playing with defending champ Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar. He credited the back-and-forth banter, particularly with Dufner, for keeping him relaxed.
"Just a really fun round," Bradley said. "Kind of felt like a Saturday morning round with my buddies."
The 60 ties the tournament record held by Sam Snead and Arron Oberholser, who shot their 60s on different courses.
It's also Bradley's lowest round of his PGA TOUR career. His previous low round was 63.
Bradley walked off the course three strokes ahead of Charl Schwartzel, who shot a 7-under 63.
The previous record at the TPC Four Seasons Resort course was 61, held by Cameron Beckman, Justin Leonard and Charlie Rymer.
Bradley, the 2011 HP Byron Nelson champ, started his round off the 10th tee on soft course conditions thanks to overnight precipitation of 1.51 inches of rain.
He birdied 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 but bogeyed the 18th hole, then also bogeyed the first hole after making the turn.
But he bounced back with a birdied at the second hole. He then birdied holes nos. 4 and 5, eagled the par-5 seventh, and finished with birdied at the eighth and ninth holes.
Bradley hit 15 of 18 greens and needed just 24 putts.
LOWEST ROUNDS AT HP BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP
|60||Keegan Bradley||2013||1||TPC Four Seasons Resort|
|60||Arron Oberholser||2006||2||Cottonwood Valley|
|60||Sam Snead||1957||2||Glen Lakes|
LOWEST ROUNDS AT TPC FOUR SEASONS RESORT
KEEGAN BRADLEY'S LOW ROUNDS ON PGA TOUR
|60||2013||HP Byron Nelson Championship||1|
|63||2013||Waste Management Phoenix Open||2|
|63||2012||Deutsche Bank Championship||3|
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Robert Castro opened with a course record-tying 63 to take a three-shot lead on Thursday. Whether he still has that lead by the time he tees off Friday afternoon, who knows. Conditions appear to be good for scoring again and already a few players -- Tiger Woods among them -- have started to make a move. Here's a look at who and what to watch for this afternoon.
Roberto Castro (12:46 p.m. ET): A big reason Castro was able to go so low in the opening round was because he hit close -- six of his approach shots were inside 5 feet. That will be a tall order come the afternoon when the wind is expected to increase along with the temperature, making for a firm, fast golf course.
Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler (1:18 p.m. ET): After failing to break 70 in 16 of his last 17 rounds, which included a pair of missed cuts and two other finishes near the bottom of the leaderboard, Mahan was "stress free" with a 67 Thursday. Given his accuracy, he should fare well here (two years ago, he finished sixth). Fowler, on the other hand, struggled to a 73 and will have some ground to make up to make the cut.
Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell (1:28 p.m. ET): Both were 2 under on Thursday, and McDowell comes into this week having recently won at another Pete Dye course (Harbour Town).
Zach Johnson (1:49 p.m. ET): Perhaps lost in all the headlines Thursday was Johnson, who was superb with seven birdies and just one bogey. Johnson has played progressively better here the last three years, finishing 32nd, 22nd, 12th and second.
Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker, Adam Scott (1:49 p.m. ET): McIlroy finally broke par here with a sublime 66 in the opening round and he finally appears to be comfortable around this place. His last two wins have also come on Pete Dye courses. Stricker was nearly as good with a 67 and between the three the group made just two bogeys.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A line of thunderstorms spanning as far north as Kentucky and as far south as southern Louisiana is barreling toward Augusta National. The expected arrival time: Approximately 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, here's a look at a few afternoon groups to keep an eye on as they'll try to get in as much golf as they can before the heavy stuff hits.
Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Angel Cabrera, 12:57 p.m.: Scott has fared well here the last couple of years, tying for eighth in 2012 and second in 2011. The latter was Scott's best finish in a major at the time, and he held the lead by himself while playing the 71st hole. Then Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes to win by two. Garcia, meanwhile, famously said a year ago here that he doesn't think he will ever win a major. He's softened his stance since, but he has just two career top 10s here, the last of which came in 2004 when he tied for fourth. Cabrera has won a major -- three of them -- including this one in 2009.
Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, 1:30 p.m.: It's not a driver, it's not quite a 3-wood, it's a Phrankenwood. Mickelson never disappoints when he comes here, one way or the other, and this year is no different with a special club in his bag that's part driver, part 3-wood. He's also won here three times before. Oosthuizen lost to Bubba Watson in a playoff here last year, and he comes in off a 10th-place finish in Houston. He's also played well on the European Tour, winning the Volvo Champions in January.
Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Freddie Jacobson, 1:41 p.m.: Bradley has been a popular pick in various Masters pools in the press room and with good reason. Bradley, who two years ago won his first major at the PGA Championship, arrives here off four straight top 10s, including a tie for fourth at PGA National and a tie for third at Bay Hill. McIlroy, on the other hand, has had his ups-and-downs but seems to be trending in the right direction after a 65 at Doral and a runner-up in San Antonio.
The putts were falling for Keegan Bradley on Saturday as he moved within two shots of the leaders. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HUMBLE Texas – Keegan Bradley finally made a few putts.
Now, if he can only make a few more.
The lanky 2011 PGA champ shot put himself into position with a 67 Saturday and heads into the final round with a chance to win his fourth TOUR title.
Bradley opened with rounds of 70-70, but found his putting touch in the third round of the Shell Houston Open and that was just what he needed to jump into what promises to be a shootout.
“The greens are fast, not a lot of grass on them,’’ he said. “But you know, when you hit it in there close, it makes it a lot easier.’’
He ran into trouble at 18 off the tee and didn’t make it easy on himself at all at that point.
“It’s tough no matter what the wind is, what tees we play, where the pin is,” he said. “Got to hit a good drive. If you hit a good drive, you’ve got a tough second shot, but if you hit it in that bunker like I did… I was up against the lip and I had to lay up.’’
Regardless, he’s just two back going into the final round and one of 15 players within two shots of the lead.
“I know I'm going to have to shoot a really low round to win,’’ Bradley said. “But I put myself in a good position to do that tomorrow.’’
Keegan Bradley's confidence is high heading to Redstone. (Little/Getty Images)
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
Sometimes the best decisions are the easiest decisions. That's the case at this week's Shell Houston Open. From the standpoint of the one-and-doners, there is a but a small handful of viable options this week, most of which can be dismissed immediately.
Brandt Snedeker is still in the process of shedding rust. Rory McIlroy is, too, in a way, but you'll plug him in later for a larger purse anyway. Steve Stricker is your go-to at the John Deere Classic, although he's a smart pick in two-and-dones if you're feeling frisky.
Hunter Mahan is the defending champion, so some formats will exclude him. Even if yours doesn't, he's a wise hold for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola if you're burning Phil Mickelson elsewhere. Speaking of the lefthander, you know you'll have a plethora of options down the road beginning with the Masters in two weeks. Holster for now.
Other notables like Lee Westwood, Bill Haas and Dustin Johnson set up like square pegs in a round hole at Redstone's Tournament Course, so don't force the issue.
That leaves my pick, Keegan Bradley. Even though he posted a season-best T3 at Bay Hill last week, he said that he feels like he's playing better than his scorecard illustrates. That speaks to a high level of confidence. He also offers splits throughout his bag to support an investment. The kicker is that he tied for fourth at Redstone last year.
Two-man one-and-dones that like to inject a second-tier type of talent relative to the chalk are wise to consider the likes of Chris Kirk, Jimmy Walker, John Senden, Bob Estes and Ben Curtis.
Last week: Tiger Woods; WIN; $1,116,000,00
Overall record: 11-for-13
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 8
Top 25s: 10
Missed cuts: 2
MARANA, Ariz. -- Marcus Fraser says he has a tendency to get down on himself. On Thursday, though, in a tight match with Keegan Bradley, the Aussie "backed" himself and came out with the upset win.
Neither player led more than 1 up during the match, and Fraser got the edge when it counted most, draining a 27-footer for birdie and a 1-up lead at the 17th hole. When he and Bradley both bogeyed the 18th hole, Fraser, who was ranked 13th in the Hogan bracket, had the surprise victory.
"I knew it was going to be obviously a tough match," Fraser said. "Keegan is a major winner and Ryder Cup player, so he's used to match play. Down the stretch he's probably one of the best in the game.
"It wasn't the prettiest match. ... But as I said before, it's match play, you can play really well and get rolled or you can play average and hang in there. And that's what I did today, hung in there and made a nice putt on 17, which really helped. ... I just backed myself. That was the difference."
Neither player played particularly well -- Fraser shot 2 over and Bradley was 4 over after holing a shot from the ninth fairway for eagle and making six bogeys. Fraser plays Fredrik Jacobson in the second round.
"I'm probably the shortest player here this week, but that doesn't worry me," Fraser said. "... I've been used to that for the last 11 years playing in Europe, I'm usually first to hit, so sometimes that's a good thing in match play, first to hit, try and stick one nice and close to put them under the pump. There is a positive to being short, and I might have found it in match play today."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- The final outcome wasn't exactly what Keegan Bradley, or Phil Mickelson, for that matter, would have liked.
For sheer drama and spine-tingling excitement, though, the performance the two delivered on the 18th hole at Riviera Country Club a year ago on Sunday can't be beat.
Bradley and Mickelson had started the final round of the Northern Trust Open tied for the lead. By the time they walked onto the final green to the cheers of an adoring crowd, though, Bill Haas was waiting on the range with a one-stroke lead.
Mickelson putted first and his 25-footer dropped into the hole for birdie. He pumped his fist in celebration, then bumped those same knuckles against Bradley's fist, saying "Make it," and tha's exactly what his good friend did.
What Bradley calls a "defining moment" was one of the most electric ones on the PGA TOUR in 2012. Haas went on to win with an improbable 45-footer on the second playoff hole, but the drama on the 18th hole was an instant highlight reel and will not soon be forgotten.
"It's something that you dream about as a kid," Bradley said. "You dream about that putt on 18; after Phil makes it, getting to a playoff at Riviera on 18, pretty special. When I watch it, it seems like, that wasn't me. It seems like I'm kind of watching a dream, which makes it more fun."
Bradley, who won twice as a rookie, including the 2011 PGA Championship, went on to win the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last year. It was redemption, of sorts, after he had tumbled out of contention at Firestone the previous year with a back-nine 41 -- and Bradley says the events at Riviera helped pave the way for that win.
"It was in that atmosphere, playing against Phil and at Bridgestone I was playing against Jim Furyk, another Hall of Famer, and it was those couple moments coming down the stretch where I really felt comfortable and all of my other wins, I had come from behind," Bradley said. "This one, the whole day I was kind of in the hunt and I really learned a lot."
Bradley, who tied for fourth at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, appears ready to pick up where he left off after shooting 65 in the pro-am on Wednesday. He says just being at Riviera has gotten his juices flowing.
"I'll always have that memory of what happened there on 18 and in the playoff and stuff like that," Bradley said. "It really gets me excited to play, just even being here."