DETROIT Tony FinauThe approach was sent from 250 yards, flying over trees and onto Detroit Golf Clubs seventh green. It was a risky shot but I wanted to get the reward.
It made a lot sense based on the way he played over the past week.
Finau is coming off his third career victory at the PGA Tour. Taylor PendrithThe Rocket Mortgage Classics first round lead was shared by 8-under 64.
Finaus pivotal shot on Finau’s 16th hole, which is a 560-yard par 5 putt, set up a two-putt at 43 feet for one his eight birdies.
He stated, I had all of it to get to the hole and hit the middle of it right in the center of the green.
Players who took advantage of the favorable scoring conditions and morning tee times filled the leaderboard. The winds picked up in afternoon and the scores also improved.
Finau, who recovered from a 5-shot deficit with 11 greens left to win the 3M Open by 3 strokes Sunday in Minnesota, opened with an opening birdie and had five birdies along his front nine.
After cooling down with four straight pars Finau concluded with his seventh- and eighth birdies in a round that was bogey free. Finau made regulation on all 18 greens for the first time in 728 PGA Tour stroke play rounds.
He said, Do the math. I missed 10 putts. Obviously, 64′s a very good round, but this is a golf course where a lot of guys are going to make birdies.
On the par-4 eighth hole, he putted downhill from 41 feet with a slight break to the left. This gave him a birdie and a three-shot lead.
Finau stated, It was nice just to get a bonus birdie at 8 after a poor wedge shot. But thats why our putter is the equalizer.
Pendrith (a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie) surged into a share in the lead with five birdies over a seven-hole stretch on Pendriths back nine.
The relatively anonymous player in this world noticed that the h in his lastname was missing from the leaderboard towards the end.
Alas! The 8 right next to his misspelled names was correct.
He said, Thats all it matters, with a grin.
After the opening round, Pendrith is now at the top of the leaderboard. The Canadian had the lead by 3 strokes in the Bermuda Championships third round, but Pendrith finished fifth with a career-high 76.
He was 13th at Marchs Players Championship, and took home a career-best of $327,222.
He was unable to compete for nearly four months due to the injury, which led him to be ranked No. 237. He has bounced back with ties in the 11th and 13th places at tournaments earlier in the month.
Pendrith stated, When Im healthy I can compete with top-level athletes.
Nate LashleyAfter getting an anti-inflammatory shot in his right foot, he shot a 68 to win the Detroit PGA Tour title.
Im having surgery in the next week, he stated, adding that he will need to recover for four to six more weeks.
Mark HubbardAfter a topsy-turvy round that saw four birdies and two bogeys, and an ace on par-3, 216-yard 11th, the lead was still 4 shots behind.
Hubbard renounced his club, and his headAfter hitting his teeshot.
He said Thats embarrassing, as the ball was in flight.
The ball landed on top of the green, rolled towards the cup, and then dropped in.
Hubbard, a professional golfer with nine career aces, said Thats probably to end up being one my favorite hole-in-1s.
Five players made it to the top 20, more than double the number in Minnesota. Finau was the only player to do well in round one.