Rd. 1 notebook: Harman, Overton, Garrigus on a roll

October 25, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Troy Matteson carded an 8-under 63 in the first round of the CIMB Classic to take a one-shot lead. Here are some notes from Round 1:


Troy Matteson 63 (-8)

Matteson has missed the cut in his last two PGA TOUR starts (Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Frys.com Open), failing to break par in any of the four rounds. That wasn't an issue, today, however, as Matteson went bogey-free to move to the top of the leaderboard at 63 (-8) and post his lowest score since a 61 to open the John Deere Classic in July (finished second after a sudden-death playoff with Zach Johnson).

• Matteson, who is making his first appearance at the CIMB Classic, finished his round with four consecutive birdies.

"I would say I probably hit every club but a 5� iron, but I hit most of them today. That's just the way the course is. It provides a lot of opportunities to make birdies, but you've got to be smart about how you do it."

Brian Harman 64 (-7)

• Harman, a PGA TOUR rookie, made the most of his first CIMB Classic start, posting eight birdies and one bogey for a 33-31=64 (-7). With five birdies on the back nine, Harman matched his lowest back-nine score of the year (second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii). His lowest round in an official PGA TOUR event is a 61 during the second round of The Honda Classic.

• Harman's best finish of his rookie season was a T5 at The Barclays, which moved him from No. 97 to No. 41 in the FedExCup standings. He eventually finished No. 51, but can credit his performance in The Barclays for getting him into the CIMB Classic.

• Harman is one of three PGA TOUR rookies in the field this week (John Huh, Seung-Yul Noh).

"I try to not have any expectations when I show up and just try to play the best that I possibly can and not think about numbers or think about how many under you are," Harman said. "I've been able to have some low rounds this year on TOUR and just when I get it going, when the putter gets going, I usually play well."

Jeff Overton 64 (-7)

• Overton, who finished runner-up to Bo Van Pelt at last year's CIMB Classic on the strength of a 62 in the second round, carded a bogey-free 64 (-7) in round one of this year's event. His scorecard included an eagle-5 on the par-4 15th.

"All of a sudden I made about a 20� footer for eagle, basically drove the green on the short par� 4, and when that sucker went in it was really exciting. It was just an all� around fun day," Overton said.

• Overton holds the tournament record, with Fredrik Jacobson, for low 36-hole total, set in 2011 at 129 (-13). He'll need a 65 (-6) in Round 2 to match that effort. Last year, Overton posted a tournament-record 62 (-9) in the second round.

• Overton posted four top-10 finishes this season, including an eight place two weeks ago at the Frys.com Open.

"I've been playing really well, especially as of late, and just feeling good, and it's just � � you know the tournament is over with after this, the year is over," Overton said. "I'm going to Italy for a few weeks after this to hang out and just excited about hopefully maybe can somehow finish it off the right way."

Robert Garrigus 64 (-7)

• Garrigus, making his first CIMB Classic start, posted a bogey-free 30 (-5) on the front nine and added an eagle on the par-five 11th hole en route to a 64 (-7). Greg Chalmers carded the only other nine-hole score of 30 in Round One.

• Garrigus is looking to cap off a strong 2012 campaign in which he posted seven top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, including a runner-up finish at the Transitions Championship, where he lost in a playoff to Luke Donald, and a T2 at the RBC Canadian Open Today's 64 is Garrigus' lowest 18-hole score since 64s in the first and third rounds of that event. Garrigus finished No. 23 in the FedExCup.

"I've had a great year, best of my career," Garrigus said. "It's kind of where I've felt I've needed to be the past few years, I just hadn't put the work in, so this year I put the work in and I'm getting the results. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks just to end the season on a good note, have fun, and get to spend some time with the family in the off� season. That will be nice."

Miscellaneous Notes

Tiger Woods, in his first CIMB Classic appearance, bounced back from consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8-9 with a bogey-free 31 (-5) on the back nine, finishing at 66 (-5) and in a tie for seventh heading into Round 2.

• India's Gaganjeet Bhullar -- No. 5 on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit -- is the low Asian Tour player through 18 holes. Bhullar shot 65 (-6) with an eagle on the 17th hole and is tied for fifth, two shots behind leader Matteson.

Said Gaganjeet: "I think these are the only few weeks where we get to play with these guys, and if we play well with these guys and probably the same number, it really motivates us, and I think it is very important for Asian Tour players that somebody should go up and make it interesting. You never know this week, it could be an Asian Tour player's week."

• South Africa's Jbe' Kruger -- No. 3 on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit -- was cruising through his round, bogey-free and at 7-under par through 17 holes, before a double-bogey six on No. 18 dropped him to 66 (-5).

Danny Chia, one of the two Malaysian qualifiers, carded a bogey-free 66 (-5) in the first round. Chia finished T13 in the 2011 CIMB Classic.

"The way I look at it is I try to make myself more competitive, more with the PGA TOUR players. I want to see where I stand among them. I mean, I don't want to just show up here and just play some golf and walk off without learning anything or without knowing where I stand."

• Defending champion Bo Van Pelt opened with a 70 (-1). A year ago, Van Pelt won the inaugural CIMB Classic with rounds of 66-64-67-64. Van Pelt won last week at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

Ben Crane, winner of the inaugural CIMB Classic, opened with a 68 (-3) and is currently T10.

Ryan Palmer got his round off to a great start with eagles on No. 1 and No. 3. On No. 1 (358 yards, par 4), Palmer holed out from 141 yards in the fairway with a 9 iron. On No. 3 (527yards, par 5), he hit drive, 3 iron to 15 feet and holed the putt. Palmer has made two eagles in a round on two previous occasions, most recently at the 2008 Children Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart. Palmer finished the day at 69 (-2). Palmer is the only player to record a hole-in-one at the CIMB Classic, which he accomplished during the final round of last year's event.

• In addition to Palmer, the following players had eagles in Round One: Jeff Overton (No. 15); Robert Robert Garrigus (No. 11); Gaganjeet Bhullar (No. 17); Ricky Barnes (No. 17); Kyle Stanley (No. 17); Carl Pettersson (No. 15); Seung-Yul Noh (No. 17); Shaaban Hussin (No. 15);

• Thirty-seven players (out of 48) posted sub-par rounds Thursday, compared to 32 in 2011 and 29 in 2010.

Bogey-free rounds

Troy Matteson (63); Jeff Overton (64); Danny Chia (66); Kevin Na (67); Kevin Stadler (67).