Day One in the books ….
- I did pick Brooks Koepka to win, but I didn’t see a 63 coming from him – or from anyone else from that matter. Koepka had maybe two loose shots during his round and made virtually every putt in sight. He and the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee have been engaged in what passes for a “fued” in the golf world – Brooks took umbrage at Chamblee’s statement that “only Dustin Johnson and Rory can challenge Tiger.” Chamblee later said that he felt like Koepka was “giving me the finger” during his round.
- Perhaps a bigger surprise than Koepka’s round was the 64 carded by my old Dallas neighbor, Danny (The Heartbreak Kid) Lee. Lee, who after winning the Greenbriar a few years back, celebrated receiving his winner’s check by lamenting that he had no girlfriend with whom to share his happiness. Fellow Tour regulars Ricky Fowler and Pat Perez had a field day with this news. Happily, Danny eventually found true love.
- Tiger, as has been his wont lately, started slowly by carding a double bogey on his first hole (the 10th) while Koepka was chipping in for birdie. He did not lack for opportunities but could not buy a putt. He finds himself 9 shots behind Brooks after an opening round 72.
- 16 players are in red figures, including Tommy Fleetwood (-3), last week’s winner in Dallas, Sung Kang (-2), and a slew of folks at -1 including the afore mentioned Johnson (struck it well, couldn’t buy a putt), Jordan Spieth (I hate invoking Dick Vitale, but it was a “real Dow Jones-er, baby!”), past champion Jason Day (who after his round inquired if Koepka had accidentally played one of the other 4 courses at Bethpage), and The People’s Choice, Phil Mickelson.
- Those who claimed that John Daly was receiving an unfair advantage for being given an exemption to use a cart due to knee issues can be comforted by the fact that he currently sits in a tie for 112th place and, barring a miracle medical procedure, will be slamming his trunk after tomorrow’s round.
- I watched most of the Koepka/Woods/Francesco Molinari group online (Frankie Red Sauce* may be outmatched by the Black; he, like Woods, carded a two-over 72). I don’t know who the announcers were but referring to Koepka as a “robot” became tiresome rather quickly.
- Friday’s forecast calls for 15-25 mph winds. Have fun, guys!
*Credit to Scott Van Pelt