Dylan Frittelli shot a three-under-par 67 in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday.
An eagle at the par-five 1st and three birdies were the highlights of the South African’s round. He also made two bogies.
Frittelli is just one shot behind a group of eight players that includes world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, who bounced back from his missed cut at the PGA Championship.
The Masters champion acknowledged it was frustrating to miss the cut at Southern Hills – his first missed cut since October. But he said he didn’t let it prey on him, and came back strong at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, with four birdies in his four-under-par 66.
“You never want to miss a cut,” Scheffler said. “I hadn’t missed a cut in a while up to that point, so I think it makes it even more frustrating just knowing that I was playing really good golf and I just didn’t have it that week.
“That stuff happens. If I didn’t like bad draws or making crazy mistakes and stuff like that, I would have played a different sport. A lot of weird stuff happens in golf.”
Scheffler teed off on 10 and rolled in a six-foot birdie putt at the 14th and drained a 40-footer at the 17th – where he was in a fairway bunker. He added birdies from inside three feet at the 18th and 7th to join the big leading bunch.
That group also included former Masters champion Patrick Reed, former US Open winner Webb Simpson, Harold Varner, Chris Kirk, Nick Taylor, Cam Davis and Beau Hossler.
Reed was five-under through 17 holes but bogeyed his final hole, the 9th.
“It was steady,” Reed said. “I hit a lot of fairways, and playing this golf course from the fairway, you’re able to attack.
“To go around and birdie all four of the par-threes always helps,” added Reed, who has missed five cuts this season and posted just one top-10 finish. “It feels good to get a number out of it.”
Among the other co-leaders, Taylor was five-under after an eagle at the 12th, but the Canadian also made a bogey on his final hole.
Hossler, meanwhile, joined the leading group with his second eagle of the day at his last hole, the 9th, where he holed out from 135 yards out in the fairway.
The jam-packed leaderboard saw another seven players a stroke back on 67: Frittelli, Colombian Camilo Villegas and Americans Kevin Na, Davis Riley, Scott Stallings, Pat Perez and Austin Smotherman.
Another 10 players were two shots off the lead on 68, including South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Justin Thomas, who won his second Major title with a playoff triumph at Southern Hills on Sunday, carded a one-over-par 71. Will Zalatoris, beaten in the playoff, carded a 72.
Chile’s Mito Pereira, who missed out on the playoff after a 72nd-hole collapse on Sunday, opened with an even-par 70.
© Agence France-Presse