May 16 2013
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Charl Schwartzel's first competitive round at the TPC Four Seasons Resort course went pretty well.
Actually, better than that.
Schwartzel, making his first start in the HP Byron Nelson Championship, opened with a bogey-free 7-under 63, just two shots off the old course record -- but three shots off the new one set by Keegan Bradley, who opened with a 60 on Thursday.
Schwartzel won't complain about being in second place, though. He knows having a morning tee time on Thursday was a huge advantage after severe weather the night before dropped 1-1/2 inches of rain on the course, softening up the greens and allowing for players to fire at the pins. Without any morning winds, TPC Four Seasons was left virtually defenseless.
"You couldn't ask for much better (conditions)," the South African said. "... Seems like you don't get many of those opportunities, so being out here first was a bit of an advantage."
The 63 ties for Schwartzel's low round on the PGA TOUR. He also shot 63 in the final round of last year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
The key to this 63 was Schwartzel's iron play. He hit every green in regulation.
"There were a few flags tucked away," he said, "but with the greens being soft, you could spin it into the corners."