2018 Wyndham Championship: Brandt Snedeker's 59 leads packed first day in Greensboro
The last event of the PGA Tour season is shaping up to be a memorable one after 18 holes of play
Brandt Snedeker lit the world on fire at the 2018 Wyndham Championship on Thursday. It was the 10th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history and just the third to include a bogey.
Snedeker leads by just four, though, over Ryan Moore and John Oda who fired 7-under 63s (more on that below). Still, shooting 59 at any course on this tour is far rarer than winning the actual tournament. Whether Snedeker goes on to raise a trophy at the end of the week is sort of irrelevant.
"It's very rare out here when you have something you're trying to do and you step up with this pressure and all the stuff on you and you do it," Snedeker told reporters. "You hit the shots you're supposed to hit and you make the putts you're supposed to do.
"If you don't get excited for that, then you need to find another job."
Snedeker certainly doesn't need to find another job based on how he's playing golf right now. After a slow start to the season, he has three top 10s in his last seven events, and with a win this week could jump into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup points race.
Even though he's unlikely to be on the Ryder Cup team as a captain's pick and has slipped to No. 88 in the Official World Golf Rankings, he is (as he proved) one big day (or maybe four big days) from turning things completely around.
Golf is hard, as we all know, but Snedeker made it look easy on Thursday. We'll see if he can hold off what's sure to be a big charge from competitors over the next three days.
Here are four other takeaways from Round 1 at the Wyndham Championship.
1. Lyle honored: A week after passing away, the PGA Tour honored former Australian pro Jarrod Lyle by putting his bag and bucket hat at the first tee. Some players and caddies even repped his unique look, which was a sweet touch in what has been a hard journey.
2. Stickler for strokes gained: I'm here to rain on the parade. Snedeker's 9.7 strokes gained on the field average on Thursday is incredible, unbelievable even. But it's not historically great. In fact, it's barely even the best Snedeker round of the last few years. Snedeker played the final round of the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open 8.9 strokes better than the field average (and he only shot 69 that year).
3. Bubble boys: Several golfers from outside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list played well on Thursday, and the following jumped into the projected top 125 based on Round 1:
- Corey Conners: No. 128 to No. 122
- Nick Taylor: No. 129 to No. 123
Others got within striking distance:
- Aaron Baddeley: No. 137 to No. 128
- Sergio Garcia: No. 131 to No. 130
- David Hearn: No. 156 to No. 133
This will be an interesting storyline the rest of the way, especially when it comes to big names like Garcia. There's a lot of golf left and a lot of sleepless nights for guys trying to earn their PGA Tour cards or make the FedEx Cup Playoffs over these last 54 holes.
4. Not over: There's a long way to go for the leaders, too, as Justin Ray pointed out here. Fewer than 50 percent of golfers who shot 59 in a tournament went on to win that tournament. Still, Snedeker is off to a nice head start and is now a +150 favorite to win this weekend.
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