Xander Schauffele. (Getty Images)
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantley combined for a 13-under par 59 in Thursday’s four-ball first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the only two-man team event on the PGA Tour.
The US duo held a one-shot lead over fellow Americans Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
FedEx Cup winner Cantlay and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Schauffele thrived in windy conditions to take the lead with a record result.
Schauffele, owner of four PGA Tour titles, had six birdies and Cantlay had an eagle and five birdies as they shot to the top of the leaderboard, with Cantlay dropping birdies on 17 and 18 to finish the round.
Cantlay said he “didn’t really think about 59” when he last rolled his birdie putt from under four feet because of the four-ball format.
“I’m just trying to birdie on par fives like I do every week,” he said.
But Schauffele said that while a U-60 round in a two-man format might not carry the same cachet as a singles 59, he still considers it an achievement.
“That matters to me,” he said. “I’ve never done it before. I don’t think Pat either. I will list it in my book.”
Cantlay said he thinks Friday’s second round foursome format would help them keep the momentum going.
“I think Xander and I really like alternative recordings,” he said. “It’s one of our strengths for this week and we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
NeSmith and Moore equaled the previous course record with their 60 and briefly took the lead after England’s Aaron Rai and American David Lipinski took control early with a 61 highlighted by Lipinski’s eagle on the eighth hole.
They were joined on 61 by Tommy Gainey and Robert Garrigus, and Doc Redman and Sam Ryder.
In his first start since winning the Masters, world number one Scottie Scheffler teamed up with Ryan Palmer to shoot an eight-under-par 64.
Defending champions Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman of Australia opened with a 65.
Leading results after the first four-ball round of Thursday’s two-man team event of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
59 – Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA)
60 – Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (USA)
61 – Aaron Rai/David Lipsky (ENG/USA), Tommy Gainey/Robert Garrigus (USA), Doc Redman/Sam Ryder (USA)
62 – Bubba Watson/Harold Varner (USA), Sam Burns/Billy Horschel (USA), Cameron Tringale/Wyndham Clark (USA)
63 – Trey Mullinax/Wesley Bryan (USA), Noh Seung-yul/Michael Kim (KOR/USA), Tyrrell Hatton/Danny Willett (ENG), Kang Sung/John Huh (KOR/USA), Hank Lebioda/Chase Seiffert ( USA), Joel Dahmen/Stephan Jäger (USA/GER), Brian Stuard/Russell Knox (USA/SCO)
Cantlay, Schauffele combine for 59 to lead PGA Zurich Classic
Source link Cantlay, Schauffele combine for 59 to lead PGA Zurich Classic