October 17 2013
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS – It was a nice grouping for the locals, but Charley Hoffman had to focus on work. Still, he holds a distinction after the first round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Hoffman shot 5-under 66 and is the low UNLV alum.
He played alongside two fellow Rebels, Bill Lunde and Chad Campbell. Lunde shot 74, while Campbell fired 71. Hoffman and Lunde were in the lineup for UNLV's victory at the 1998 NCAA Championship.
“We’re all trying to make a living out here now and trying to make birdies,” Hoffman said. “It’s nice to play with guys you know and are friendly with, but it’s all business for me when I’m out there.”
Ryan Moore, the 2012 Shriners Hospitals for Open Champion, hit 13 of 18 greens Thursday, shooting 69 with three birdies and one bogeys.
“I just didn’t get much out of it,” said Moore, who won the NCAA individual title while at UNLV. “I kept hitting it to 18 feet, 20 feet. It was one of those days where if you just roll in one or two, you’ll get some confidence, but I just never did that.”
Another UNLV alum, Derek Ernst, had success in his debut here; he was attending q-school this time last year. He shot 67 on Thursday at TPC Summerlin, going bogey-free after hitting 15 of 18 greens. He teed off on No. 10 and made birdies on Nos. 13-14 to turn in 2-under 34. He then birdied his final two holes.
It was Ernst’s first round of 67 or lower since the John Deere Classic in July. Ernst won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2013; it was his only top-40 finish of the season.
He used to attend the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with his college teammates and play TPC Summerlin during the team’s qualifying rounds for its travel lineup. “In qualifying, that would be OK,” Ernst said of his 67. He may have local ties, but he wasn’t the focal point in his group. Ernst played alongside J.J. Henry, who shot 60, on Thursday.