Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of the Northern Trust

August 8, 2019

The FedEx Cup playoffs are upon us at last, and 121 of the Tour’s top players are on hand to battle it out in a newly streamlined playoff schedule to determine the FedEx Cup champion.

Here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s action at Liberty National.

Troy Merritt leads — in record-breaking fashion

Less than two weeks after his near-miss, runner-up finish at the Barracuda Championship, Troy Merritt is back on form in New Jersey, carding a bogey-free round of 62 at Liberty National to not only lead the field by a shot, but also set a new course record.

A win this week would mark the third of Merritt’s PGA Tour career, and his first since last year’s Barbasol Championship.

 

Troy Merritt is seeking his third PGA Tour victory this week.
USA Today Sports

What about Tiger Woods?

In his first competitive round since missing the cut at the British Open last month, Tiger Woods did not impress at Liberty National, firing a round of four-over-par 75, placing him ahead of only three other players on the leaderboard.

The Big Cat’s health is back in the spotlight after he admitted to feeling stiff on Wednesday. After his opening round on Thursday, he addressed the stiffness in his back again. “It’s a little bit stiff, yeah, but that’s just the way it’s going to be,” he said.

Woods made five bogeys, three birdies and a double bogey on Thursday. He begins his second round at 12:33 p.m. ET on Friday.

Who else is in the mix?

The list of players within striking distance is impressive.

Dustin Johnson is one back after an opening 63. Kevin Kisner and Jon Rahm are two back after 64s, and Tony Finau, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson and Justin Rose are three back after 65s.

Following those players are nine others who shot 66. In all, there are 32 players within five shots of the lead heading into Round 2.

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