South Africa’s Branden Grace got off to a sound start at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday afternoon with a bogey-free effort that left him three behind Justin Rose and Harold Varner III.
The PGA Tour’s resumption of a revised season got under way at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas after a 91-day absence and, although the galleries were empty, the players quickly got rid of any rust.
Grace got underway in one of the early groups and quickly moved near the top of the pile thanks to an opening 66.
The 2020 South African Open winner opened with a birdie on the par-five 1st hole and followed that up with three more on the back nine to conclude with a bogey-free round of four under par.
While Grace shares 16th after gaining nearly a full stroke with his putter in fine form early on, countrymen Louis Oosthuizen and Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished with 69s to share 57th place.
Oosthuizen struggled with his game off the tee and hit just six fairways. He birdied the penultimate hole to get into red figures where he was joined by Bezuidenhout, who hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation on Thursday.
Dylan Frittelli finished level thanks to two birdies in his final three holes.
Facing an enormous task to be playing on the weekend is Erik van Rooyen, who hit just 35% of fairways on Thursday en route to a 72.
The day started early with a significant moment of silence as the PGA Tour joined the growing surge for better social and racial justice across the USA.
A pause in the Return to Golf, at 8:46 a.m: pic.twitter.com/wqmuZPgYOa
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 11, 2020
Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images