By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
Heath Slocum opened his title defense with an even-par 70
that has him seven shots back.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. --
Here are some odds and ends from the first day at Sea Island:
Seven of the top eight from last
year’s final leaderboard are back at Sea Island for the
second year of this event. Charles Howell III is the only one in
red numbers at 1 under. Defending champion Heath Slocum is even,
along with Robert Allenby, who tied for third last year. The one
player missing from the group? Bill Haas, who is doing all right
with his TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and FedExCup trophies.
FEATURED GROUP UPDATE:
None of the members of our Featured
Group were able to take advantage of early conditions at Sea
Island. The trio of St. Simons Island residents managed a combined
total of even in Round 1. Heading the group with his son Dru on the
bag was tournament host Davis Love III with a 1-under 69. Zach
Johnson came in at 70 while Brandt Snedeker double bogeyed No. 9
for a 71.
ROUGH DAY FOR RICKIE:
Fresh of his first professional
victory in Korea, Rickie Fowler opened play with a 3-over 73 at Sea
Island. The reigning Rookie of the Year, still in search of his
first TOUR victory, mustered just one birdie and hit just 11 greens
in regulation. Currently tied for 117th, Fowler will need a strong
second round to make it to the weekend.
Is one year too soon for a class reunion? Not
if you’re the q-school class of 2010. The 29-man class has 22
players in the field this week. Half of them are ranked T26 or
better with five inside the top 10. Zack Miller, who is tied for
the lead at 7 under, highlights the group. But Billy Horschel (-6),
Cameron Tringale (-5), Michael Thompson (-5) and Richard S. Johnson
(-5) are right on his heels. If the cut were to happen today, 15 of
the 2010 graduates would make it to the weekend.