July 4 2013
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The rounds of 62 were accomplished differently.
When all those birdies and that lone eagle were added up, though, Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagner owned a two-stroke lead after the first round of The Greenbrier Classic.
Wagner actually added a bit of excitement to the morning when he played his first 12 holes in 8 under to leave fans wondering if The Old White TPC would relinquish another 59 like it did to Stuart Appleby in the final round of the 2010 event. But he parred his final five holes and Gainey caught Wagner with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17.
"I've been disappointed with 72s and 79s in thelast month, so I'm very happy to be disappointed with a 62 today," Wagner said.
Webb Simpson and Jin Park are tied for third after shooting 64s while Daniel Summerhays, Tag Ridings, Steven Bowditch and 50-year-old Neal Lancaster are another stroke behind. Two other Champions Tour players more than held their own with Kenny Perry and Tom Watson each posting 68s.
The scoring average on Thursday, when preferred lies were used due to heavy rainfall in recent days, was .094 above par 70.
"The golf course is really soaked, it's really soft, and with the players that we have out here, when you have soft greens and the rough is not too penal, I mean, you can really score low out there," Gainey said. "I just was one of the lucky ones to make some putts, hit some fairways, and you know, we all know it's all about making putts out here."
Phil Mickelson struggled for the third straight year, shooting a 74 that left him tied for 135th and in danger of missing the cut once again. He has yet to break par at the Old White TPC.