Emergency 9: AT&T Byron Nelson, Round 1
May 17, 2018
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
Marc Leishman's Round 1 highlights from AT&T Byron Nelson
Here are nine tidbits from the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson that gamers can use tomorrow, this weekend or down the road. Trinity Forest Golf Club just south of Dallas hosts for the first time and plays 7,380 yards to a Par-71.
Know Thy Enemy
These were the top-10 picked golfers in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf game presented by SERVPRO.
Rank Player Position % Ownership 1 Jordan Spieth T57 65.19 2 Marc Leishman 1st 57.23 3 Matt Kuchar T120 55.97 4 Jimmy Walker T2 52.11 5 Beau Hossler T79 49.43 6 Adam Scott T23 44.14 7 Billy Horschel T44 34.82 8 Sergio Garcia T120 33.53 9 Charles Howell III T57 31.43 10 Martin Laird T104 17.08
The weather today was perfect for scoring as it was hot, sunny and barely a breath of breeze. The lack of wind is definitely odd for Texas but the heat is part and parcel. Friday will see a different forecast record high 98 10-20 SSE and gamers and golfers will see why the fairways and greens are the sizes they are!
Before the tournament started Trinity Forest member Jordan Spieth gave gamers an insight in what it takes to get it around at this one-of-a-kind Coore-Crenshaw design. He suggested that there were a handful of holes where the ball could be played on the ground but those attacking through the air would have the advantage. Then we heard during the broadcast that he usually plays the course on a golf board with headphones. He carded 14 pars, three birdies and a bogey (T57) in a more formal setting in Round 1 but his putter is still ice cold as he was 130 in SG: putting.
After a tight test tee-to-green last week, Trinity Forest is the exact opposite. The size of the greens at TPC Sawgrass averaged 4,500 square feet while this week's test has greens that average 13,000 square feet. The fairway discrepancy is real as well, as around 100 acres of Zoysia carpet the distance tee-to-green while there was only 25 acres to aim at last week. The massive greens are tiered and hitting the proper plateau will be rewarded, especially as the wind picks up. The quick Bermuda last week is still Bermuda this week but is running much slower because of the runoffs and possibility of gusting winds.
Setting the Marc
Usually posting six birdies means a solid round has been had. Adding a pair of eagles takes it to another level and that's exactly what Marc Leishman did Thursday. Out in 32 and home in 29, the Aussie only needed 61 shots (-10) to lead by three. He was bogey-free and was in the top three in an impressive EIGHT categories. Everyone knows where the first tee is at this new venue and now they also know the course record.
To be Continued
Texan Jimmy Walker is the only one of the trio of T2 finishers last week at THE PLAYERS in the field this week and his hot play continues. His bogey-free 64 (-7) sees him share second with J.J. Spaun. ... Speaking of T2, Aaron Wise collected his best TOUR finish at the Wells Fargo Championship in his last start. He continues to show gamers that he's a quick learner as his 65 (-6) tied five others for the lead after the morning wave. He hit every fairway and missed ONE green.
The last man in the field at TPC Sawgrass, Keith Mitchell came storming out of the gates with 67 in Round 1 to sit one off the lead. He's right back in the fight this week after his opening 65 sees him in a logjam at T4. ... It's too bad that there's not a Monday qualifier every week because I'd be curious to see just how many of them T.J. Vogel would win or qualify from playing. He was second this week and raced out to 6 under before taking a late bogey to finish on 66.
Cause for Concern
With 78 players currently 2 under par, folks looking to get into the weekend are going to need to post a low one or hope that the afternoon wind wreaks havoc. Gamers with Sergio Garcia could possibly be on the wrong side of the draw as the Spaniard went out this morning and posted 72 (+1). He's a great wind player but I'd be more comfortable with him on a track where he's done the business before. Caution.
One of the best insights from the Featured Groups on PGATOUR LIVE is being able to catch PLENTY of audio during play. Matt Kuchar was overheard more than once remarking that he was less than thrilled with Trinity Forest during his 72 (+1). He'll also get reacquainted with these massive greens during the afternoon breeze tomorrow and might warrant a spot on the bench if he's in your lineup.
Round 1 played 69.564 (+1.436) and is the third-easiest first round of the season. There were nine bogey-free rounds. ... Leishman was the only player to circle two eagles. ... Colt Knost WD Wednesday and was replaced by Cameron Beckman. ... Ethan Tracy appears on only four lineups this week and sits T4 after opening with 65. ... Aaron Baddeley will have Steve Williams (yes, that one) on his bag this week and next. Baddeley didn't reap any immediate benefits as he opened even-par 71.