Patrick Reed putts on the ninth hole of the North Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Gregory Bull/Associated Press SAN DIEGO– Patrick Reed birdied his very first 3 holes and ended up with a
bogey-free 8-under 64 on Thursday for a share of the lead with Alex Noren after the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Reed, Noren and Scottie Scheffler– who was one stroke back– all played Torrey Pines ‘easier North Course and will play the South Course on what might be a wet Friday. Heavy rain was forecast for overnight and into the 2nd round at the municipal course ignoring the Pacific Ocean.
Peter Malnati and Ryan Palmer each shot 66 for the lowest ratings on the South Course and remained in a group of 12 at 6 under. Malnati topped his round with an eagle on the par-5 18th. After a 321-yard tee shot, he hit his technique to 16 feet and made the putt.
Reed benefited from great weather and accurate tee shots to leave to the hot start. Beginning on No. 10, he birdied the first 3 holes before making his first par. He closed with a flourish too, with birdies on his 15th, 16th and 17th holes.
Noren also began on No. 10. He eagled the par-7 17th and followed it with his only bogey. He birdied every other hole on his back 9.
Sheffler, who likewise played bogey-free, eagled the par-4 16th.
HONDA CLASSIC: 2 days after COVID-19 kept Kamaiu Johnson from his dream of playing on the PGA Tour, the Honda Classic advance to make sure the inspiring Black golf player gets his shot.
Johnson was the leading player on the Advocates Pro Golf Association last year, and the Farmers Insurance Open awarded him a sponsor exemption to play in this week’s tournament together with some of the best worldwide at Torrey Pines.
And after that he checked favorable for the coronavirus on Tuesday and needed to withdraw.
The Honda Classic, to be held March 18-21 in his home state of Florida, provided Johnson an exemption.
“As I said when I initially discovered that I would be forced to withdraw, a fork in the road often has an interesting way of resulting in brand-new chances,” Johnson said. “It was beyond disappointing not to be able to play at the Farmers Insurance Open after all of the assistance that Farmers has actually shown me and the APGA Tour.
“Now, to discover that I will still have a possibility to satisfy my imagine playing on the PGA Tour is practically frustrating.”
Johnson matured in the small Florida town of Madison and played on a youth travel baseball team with former Chicago Cubs All-Star Addison Russell. But he left of the eighth grade since he was put in a class for sluggish learners and felt torn down.
Living with his grandmother in a crowded two-bedroom house near a golf course, he was spotted swinging a support the city golf superintendent, Jan Auger. She made him a deal. If he helped around the club, he might play for $1 a round. For the next five years, Johnson practically lived at Hilaman Park, honing his game.
“Golf conserved me,” Johnson informed Golf Digest last year. “It gave me a factor to live, offered me a purpose.”
The APGA Trip was developed 10 years ago to prepare Black and other minority golf enthusiasts to compete and get better access across the golf market. Johnson finished in the top 10 in the last 5 APGA events last year, winning its Trip Championship. He was pleased when the Farmers Insurance Open called to use him an exemption in October.
And after that it ended with a favorable coronavirus test.
A day after Johnson had to withdraw, he learned his mother was hospitalized with breathing problems from COVID-19.
“This is turning into a headache from hell,” Johnson tweeted on Wednesday.
He stated Thursday she was enhancing, and his spirits were pretty high, too.
Ken Kennerly, the executive director of the Honda Classic, stated he and tournament director Andrew George were familiar with Johnson from when he attempted to go through Monday qualifying last year at the Honda.
“When we heard what happened to him at Farmers this week, we felt highly that we wished to give him an opportunity to dip into The Honda Classic. We feel it is important to support the advancement of golf enthusiasts from our home state, Kennerly said. “We have constantly been about growing the game of golf for young gamers and Kamaiu is such a motivation for a lot of them.”
DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC: Richard Sterne took a one-stroke lead at the Dubai Desert Classic with an 8-under 64 on Thursday in the first round.
The South African rolled in his ninth birdie of the day– on his ninth and last hole– to move ahead of American competing Kurt Kitayama (65) at the Emirates Golf Club. Sergio Garcia and Justin Harding (66) were connected for 3rd.
The 39-year-old Sterne, who has actually battled a range of injuries in his career, last won on the European Trip almost eight years back. His only blemish on Thursday was a bogey on the sixth.
Robert MacIntyre, Paul Casey, Adrian Otaegui and Thomas Detry (67) were all connected for 5th.
RBC HERITAGE: The RBC Heritage in mid-April will have a limited variety of fans and sponsor camping tents due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The PGA tournament announced Thursday that face coverings will be compulsory for attendance, while sky boxes and personal hospitality venues that generally surround Harbour Town Golf Hyperlinks will be replaced with open-air villages and concession areas. The occasion will take place from April 15-18.
Last year, the RBC Heritage was canceled before the PGA Tour picked to play it in June in among the very first tournaments after restarting the schedule. In 2019, the occasion attracted 135,000 spectators to Hilton Head Island. Event organizers said they have actually worked with officials from Hilton Head, the state of South Carolina, and the PGA Trip on health and safety procedures for the tournament.
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