IRVING, Texas -- Preferred lies will be in effect in closely mown areas during Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
The same rule was in effect for the opening round after a severe storm swept through the area on Wednesday night.
Thanks in part to the preferred lies, scores were low on Thursday, with 97 of the 156 players in the field shooting par or better.
Luke Donald received his MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) on Friday at Buckingham Palace.
The MBE is an order of chivalry – it was established by George V in 1917 -- which honors civilians and service personnel for public service and other distinctions.
Donald was recognized for his accomplishments in golf, including spending a cumulative 55 weeks to date at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings.
During the 2011 season, Luke was the first to top the money lists on both the PGA TOUR and European Tour. He has also has helped raise funds for the First Tee organization, an association which has to date introduced the game of golf and its inherent values to the more than 7 million young people.
“I am truly honored to be awarded an MBE by her Majesty,” Donald said. “Both personally and professionally, 2011 and 2012 were very significant seasons for me and I’m touched that my accomplishments have been recognized in this way.”
He received this award in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his contributions to professional golf and his role as a global ambassador for Britain.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, has put himself in position to make another cut at a PGA TOUR event.
Guan posted an even-par 70 in Thursday's first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. That left him in a tie for 77th, which means he'll need to move up slightly from that position to make the top 70 and ties who'll advance to this weekend at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
"I feel like I have a pretty good chance (to make the cut)," said Guan, who tees off at 9:40 a.m. ET (8:40 a.m. local) in Friday's second round.
The eighth-grader made history last month by being the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters. He then followed with another made cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
On Thursday, he posted two birdies and two bogeys. "I missed a couple of birdie putts in the middle but overall not a bad round," he said.
Guan said his group, which also included Andrew Svoboda and Donald Constable, was put on the clock "for a couple of holes" on Thursday but were not penalized for slow play. Guan suffered a one-stroke penalty for slow play at the Masters.
"We had some rules problems today so we need to pick up speed," Guan said. "A lot of rules problems."
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Veteran PGA TOUR caddie Steve "Pepsi" Hale had never been on the bag for a round of 60 until Thursday's first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship when his man Keegan Bradley became the 28th player in TOUR history to shoot 60.
Hale said the closest he's seen his player strike the ball as well as Bradley did in the first round at TPC Four Seasons Resort was in 1989 when he worked as Curt Byrum's caddie. During the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational that year, Byrum shot an 8-under 64, a round that Hale still fondly remembers.
"I saw a flawless 64," Hale said Thursday night. "(Byrum) missed six putts from 5-10 feet. It's been a long, long time since I've seen a round like that."
Bradley's 60 on Thursday was near-perfect. He led the field in proximity to the hole at 18 feet, 2 inches, nearly 2 feet better than the next closest player, Freddie Jacobson.
Hale said Bradley had "great numbers" all day to hit full shots and played "a quality round of golf."
But of course, the round wasn't perfect. Bradley had two bogeys on Thursday -- the first time a player has shot 60 with two bogeys since records were kept in 1983. That covers 21 rounds of 60s on TOUR.
"I get stuck on the two bogeys," Hale said. "You always want more but you need to accept what you've got."
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Thanks to his course-record 10-under 60, Keegan Bradley has a three-shot lead after Thursday's first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bradley also tied the tournament record and posted his own career low round on the PGA TOUR with his one eagle, 10 birdie, two bogey round. Bradley's first TOUR win came at the HP Byron Nelson in 2011.
His 60 matches the low round on TOUR this year. Phil Mickelson shot a 60 in the opening round of the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
"It was a special day," Bradley said.
Bradley has the first-round lead for the second time in his career. He lead the 2011 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola after the first round but finished tied for 11th. Just one 18-hole leader in the last 19 years of the HP Byron Nelson has gone on to win (Jason Day in 2010).
Bradley leads Charl Schwartzel by three strokes. Three players -- Robert Karlsson, Harris English and Ted Potter Jr. -- are another stroke back.
Tied for sixth are Angel Cabrera, Camilo Villegas and Ryan Palmer.
Villegas was at 8 under after he eagled the par-5 16th, the only other player than Bradley to reach that number. But he double bogeyed the 17th and bogeyed the 18th.
Prime scoring conditions were available in the morning, with soft greens, no wind and preferred lies. Of the top 13 players on the leaderboard, 12 played in the morning. The morning scoring average of 69.41 was more than a half-stroke lower than the afternoon (70.12).
Marc Leishman had the low afternoon round at 66.
"60 is a obviously a great score from Keegan," Leishman said. "It's a long tournament. Hopefully 72 holes will give us a chance to make some of that up."
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, shot an even-par 70 in his attempt to make the cut for the third time in as many starts on the PGA TOUR. Last month, Guan became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters.
Of the 156 players in the field, 97 shot par or better.
Marc Leishman holed a 22-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole in Thursday's first round.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- For the second time in his last three starts on the PGA TOUR, Marc Leishman opened with a bogey-free round.
The Australian shot a 4-under 66 in Thursday's first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. At the RBC Heritage last month, he opened with a bogey-free 4-under 67 en route to finishing tied for ninth.
That result is one of three consecutive top-10 finishes Leishman had entering this tournament. So it's no surprise that he started strong on Thursday, especially since he's played well at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
In four starts here, he has three finishes of top-12 or better, including a tie for third last year.
"I think I'm playing steady, hitting fairways," the Australian said about his recent stretch of good play. "Not all the fairways but hitting a lot of the fairways ... and I think the putting is starting to come around. That's important if you want to be contending."
Leishman had the low round of any player who teed off in the afternoon. He knows that scoring conditions were more favorable in the morning, but he hopes he'll have similar conditions on Friday morning when he tees off.
Asked if he thinks he got the bad end of the draw, Leishman said, "You don't think about it too much, to be honest. You just play your own game and have as good of a score as you can and add 'em up at the end of the day."
One thing he'd like to see, however, is more wind. His hometown of Warrnambool is known as "Windy Warrnambool" for a reason.
"I think the winds are going to be stronger in the week," he said. "Looking forward to that."
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
IRVING, Texas -- They like to do things large in Texas and you can’t get much bigger than carding a 60.
Keegan Bradley caught the golf course at its most vulnerable place and took advantage. Two inches of rain pelted TPC Four Seasons overnight, necessitating preferred lies. With ball in hand, Bradley was able to hit 15 of 18 greens and took 24 putts. The longest putt he made was 17 feet and he hit it an average distance of 18 feet from the cup. Bradley played his last three holes in 4 under. He had a huge smile on his face while leaving the scoring tent saying, “I’m so excited. It just seemed so easy.”
The 10-under total gave him the first-round lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and also ties Bradley for low round of the year with his friend, Phil Mickelson. Bradley said he hasn’t beaten Mickelson in any Tuesday practice round this year but that opening-round 60 will take away some of Mickelson’s bragging rights.
Conditions: PGA TOUR Officials arrived at TPC Four Seasons early in the morning and were afraid play would be delayed. More than 2 inches of water hit the course during a violent storm and several bunkers were damaged. Maintenance crews did a tremendous job getting the course playable for a 7 a.m. start. Tornados hit cities just 30 miles from the course and no PGA TOUR player was going to complain about the condition of any bunker.
Greens in regulation: Charl Schwartzel leads the tournament in greens in regulation, hitting 18 of 18. He might also lead the tournament in discipline. Schwartzel hit every green and yet he intentionally played away from some holes he called “sucker” pins. There were six holes cut four paces from the edge of greens and the South African showed the discipline not to challenge those locations. It is very difficult not to be greedy when you are playing well and it’s a lesson Schwartzel applied while shooting a 7-under 63.
Insects that bite: Justin Leonard is from Texas, so he knows all about fire ants. That experience did not stop him from being attacked in the opening round. He accidentally stood on an ant pile and the large red insects attacked his leg, painfully biting him several times. It was severe enough to call officials for help, who gave Leonard ibuprofen tablets that allowed him to continue playing.
Scouting: There is a reason Steve “Pepsi” Hale is considered such a good caddie. He is prepared. During a delay in play at the fifth hole, Hale walked over to the ninth green to get a better idea where the hole was located. His player, Bradley, knew it was nine paces on and five off the right-hand side, but “Pepsi” was able to pinpoint the exact location in the yardage book. That advance scouting paid off when Bradley hit his approach to within 3 feet and sank the putt to close out a 10 under 60.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
IRVING, Texas -- In Thursday's opening round of the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship, 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China holed a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth hole.