South Africa’s Branden Grace made a pretty solid start to the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday with an opening round of 67, which left him on four under par after day one, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The new SA Open champion carded seven birdies and three bogeys over the course of the 18 holes and did well to finish strong after dropping shots on both the 10th and 11th holes.
He will start the second round on Friday in T13 and six strokes behind the leader.
Charl Schwartzel’s struggles on the golf course, though, continued on Thursday at the Tournament Players Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, after he went two over for the round to close with a 73.
The 35-year-old has had a tough start to the year so far after spending the most of last season on the sideline with a wrist injury.
His opening round included two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey but will be desperate for a better performance on Friday to make, what looks like, is going to be a relatively high projected cut.
Another South African Dylan Frittelli, who plays his golf on the PGA Tour, started his campaign with an even par round, which included two birdies and two bogeys.
But the early leader at the Phoenix Open is American Wyndham Clark.
The 26-year-old had an excellent day out on the course with a bogey-free round of 61 that included a total of ten birdies for the day.
Clark’s putter was on fire and he took the field by storm very early with three consecutive birdies on the opening three holes.
He will take a two shot lead into the second round on 10 under with Billy Herschel in second place on eight under par.
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