September 22 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Chez Reavie played a practice round with Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson on Wednesday prior to the first round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Mickelson, a two-time champion at East Lake, was nice enough to give another Arizona State Sun Devil some tips on how to play Bobby Jones' home course. And judging by the 66 he shot on Thursday Reavie certainly took note.
"He told me on some holes where you can miss it and get way with it and where not to miss it," Reavie said. "We had a good day. The greens are great and the course is in great shape, so if you're swinging well you can make some birdies."
Reavie made seven birdies, one bogey and a double bogey on Thursday. While he only hit four fairways, Reavie found 12 greens and used just 26 putts -- "I made miles of putts today," he said. Four of those were over 18 feet with the longest his final birdie, a 39-footer at the 16th hole.
"Overall it was great," Reavie said when asked to assess his play in the first round. "I'm really happy with the way I chipped and putted. I made a lot of putts. I made a couple good par putts. And when I did manage to hit some greens, I made some birdies."
Reavie is playing in his first TOUR Championship after entering the week ranked eight with a legitimate chance to win the FedExCup and its $10 million bonus. He needs to win, of course, and have Webb Simpson or Dustin Johnson finish third or worse and Justin Rose place second or worse.
At the democratic East Lake layout, Reavie feels it could be anyone’s to gain.
"There's a good mixture of holes," Reavie said. "You hit a bunch of different clubs. Some holes you're hitting 4-irons at and some holes you're hitting a 3-wood and a wedge, or some holes you can even hit a driver and get it down there by the green and have a pitch shot. It's fun because you have a lot of different ways you can play it and you have to figure out how you want to attack it."