Defending champion Jonas Blixt shot a six-under-par 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Six of Blixt's eight birdies came on putts of 10 feet or less on the Old White TPC. The Swede also chipped in from the rough for birdie on No. 16.
“The golf course is in perfect shape, like last year,” Blixt said. “You come back with a bunch of confidence knowing that you won here before.
“If I can get my putter to work the way it did today, I felt like I hit the ball on line every time, and it could be a really good week.”
Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star playing in his third tournament as a pro, was a stroke back along with Chris Kirk, D.A. Points, James Hahn, Jason Bohn, Joe Durant, Jim Renner and Danny Lee.
Steve Stricker topped the group at 66. Masters champion Bubba Watson, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, had a 68.
Stadler leads in French Open debut
American Kevin Stadler shot a seve-under 64 in his French Open debut in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines to take a one-stroke lead over Germany's Marcel Siem.
Stadler, the Phoenix Open winner in February had seven birdies in his bogey-free round on Le Golf National's Albatross Course, the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell opened with a 70, and U.S. Open winner Martin Kaymer had a 72.
Couples withdraws from Senior U.S. Open
Fred Couples withdrew from the U.S. Senior Open because of a back injury, and Craig Stadler and Graham Marsh also pulled out of the event next week at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.
Couples, second in the 2010 tournament, was replaced by John Harris, the first alternate from the Byron, Minnesota, sectional qualifier.
Stadler also cited a back injury, and Marsh, the Australian who won the 1997 U.S. Senior, pulled out because of an undisclosed injury. Stadler was replaced by David Ishii, and Marsh's spot went to Bruce Vaughan.