Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of The American Express

January 17, 2020

After enduring tough scoring conditions at last week’s Sony Open, the PGA Tour’s annual stop in the California desert is proving to be much friendlier, with well over 100 of the field’s 156 players firing rounds under par.

Here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s action at The American Express in La Quinta.

It’s a two-way tie at the top

Over the first three days of tournament play at The American Express, players rotate on PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course, PGA West’s Stadium course, and La Quinta Country Club.

On Thursday, both Zac Blair and Grayson Murray posted rounds of eight-under-par 64 on two different courses: La Quinta CC and the Stadium course, respectively.

Blair’s flawless scorecard included eight birdies and zero bogeys, while Murray’s featured nine birdies and a single bogey. Twenty-nine-year-old Blair is seeking his maiden PGA Tour victory, while 26-year-old Murray won the 2017 Barbasol Championship and is seeking his second career Tour win.

How did the big names play?

Rickie Fowler was the odds-on favorite heading into the week, and his opening round did not disappoint. A seven-under-par 65 at La Quinta Country Club has him tied for second heading into Round 2. Fowler’s round was highlighted by a five-birdie stretch on holes 5-9. The 31-year-old is seeking his sixth career win this week.

Cameron Champ and young gun Matthew Wolff are also in the mix after firing opening rounds of five under par, while self-proclaimed bomber Phil Mickelson’s round was derailed by a double bogey on the 8th hole at La Quinta Country Club. Mickelson finished at two under par, six shots behind the leaders.

Other rounds of note include Paul Casey (four-under-par 68), Tony Finau (three-under-par 69), Zach Johnson (two-under-par 70) and Francesco Molinari (one-over-par 73).

Anything else of note?

You mean aside from all the red numbers on the leaderboard today? There are 35 players within three shots of the tournament lead!

How about this one: In case you’re wondering just how good these guys are, consider this epic up-and-down, courtesy of Chez Reavie at the Stadium course’s 16th hole. I mean, wow.

Reavie finished with a round of one-under-par 71 on Thursday.

How can I watch Round 2?

Golf Channel will be airing coverage of Round 2 on Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

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