Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of the Tour Championship

August 22, 2019

The FedEx Cup’s grand finale — and the end of the 2018-2019 PGA Tour season — is finally upon us, and the first round of the 2019 Tour Championship is in the books. Thirty players are on hand to battle it out for the extremely lucrative prize. Who will walk away with $15 million? We’ll know in a few days.

For now, here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s action at East Lake.

First, you know there's a new scoring system, right?

Did you have a heart attack when you checked the leaderboard and saw that Xander Schauffele was 10 under par through 14 holes? Remember, there is a new scoring system in play, where the top-ranked players after the BMW Championship got to enjoy a head start at East Lake.

That means that as the No. 1-ranked player, Justin Thomas received the largest head start at 10 under par.

Right behind him was second-ranked Patrick Cantlay at 8 under, third-ranked Brooks Koepka at 7 under, and so on. Now that the first round is in motion, the leaderboard will merge those head starts with the players’ actual scores, and the tournament will continue as usual, albeit with no cut.

Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas share the lead

Just like that, Xander Schauffele overcame a six-shot deficit to share the Tour Championship lead with the round of the day, a six-under-par 64, bringing him to 10 under par overall.

Schauffele’s perfect scorecard included six birdies and zero bogeys. He’s already won twice this season — the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Sentry Tournament of Champions — and a win this week would mark the fifth of his career.

Koepka started the tournament at seven under, and his round of 3 under matched Schauffele at 10 to share his position atop the leaderboard.

Koepka has three wins this season, including a major, the PGA Championship. A win this week would mark the eighth of his Tour career.

Thomas had the biggest head start, beginning his round at 10 under par overall, and he had an up-and-down day, with four birdies, two bogeys and a double. His lone victory of the season was at last week’s BMW Championship, but he’s had six total top-ten finishes. Thomas is seeking his 11th Tour victory this week.

 

Justin Thomas is seeking his 11th Tour victory this week.
USA Today Sports

Who's in the hunt?

Through one round at East Lake, there are 10 players within four shots of the lead.

Rory McIlroy shot four under in Round 1 and is one shot back.

Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama are two, two and three shots back, respectively, after opening rounds of four under.

And Paul Casey, Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed are four shots back at six under par overall.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.