By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
Nathan Green carded seven birdies and no bogeys Thursday
at TPC Summerlin.
Sometimes it just takes a
little time away. Because he missed the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the
FedExCup, Nathan Green hadn’t made a start on TOUR in more
than a month. Green tied for 52nd at his last start (Wyndham
Championship). There, he was struggling off the tee which caused
him to hit just 65 percent of his greens in regulation. Green had
nine bogeys or worse against 12 birdies for the week in Greensboro.
Fast forward to Thursday at TPC Summerlin where Green came roaring
out of the gates with a bogey-free 7-under 64 for the first round
lead of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Green hit it long (304.5 average) and straight (10 of 14 fairways)
off the tee allowing to hit 14 greens in regulation. “Today
it just sort of all clicked a little bit,” Green said.
“It's just one of those days where I sort of drove it a
little -- just been struggling off the tee and felt like it's just
gone through the rest of the game. And the putting has not been
where it needs to be.” Not only was Green’s 64 the best
round of career in this event, it tied the lowest number he’s
posted all year. He posted a 64 during Round 2 of this year’s
John Deere Classic on another par 71, and a 64 in the opening round
of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (Par 70). “I
made a couple of really nice up-and-downs, but it was just one of
those real steady rounds where I just managed to pick up -- there's
probably three or four sort of unexpected birdies out there,”
Green said. “And yeah, just no mistakes, which was nice. (I
had) no bogeys which was pretty unusual.” The 2009 RBC
Canadian Open champion enters this week at No. 178th on the money
list. He knows his TOUR card is in jeopardy but is focusing on
getting his game together first and foremost. “It would just
be nice to play some good golf; to play well this week and the next
three weeks,” Green said. “I would be happy with that.
I would like to keep my card, but even if I didn't, just to play
some nice golf, just would take the pressure off.”
Green’s last top-10 finish came in January of 2010 at the
Sony Open in Hawaii. Since then, he’s made 27 cuts in 49
starts and just 11 in 22 with a top finish of 23rd this year.
“Probably the last year and a half, my short game has not
been good enough to compete,” Green said. “And my first
few years on TOUR, I was able to hit the ball where I could to get
it around and struggled to do it lately. Today was good. Felt like
I left the course with a couple better than I deserved, so that was