Bryson DeChambeau put on another power display Thursday and it worked just as well as when he won the U.S. Open.
In his first start since winning at Winged Foot last month, DeChambeau had two-putt birdies on all three of the par 5s and two of the par 4s on his way to a 9-under 62 and a one-shot lead in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
It matched his career low, and that was all that disappointed him at the TPC Summerlin. He knew his 15-foot eagle putt from the fringe on the par-5 ninth was for his best score on the PGA Tour.
‘’I was not happy it didn’t go in, but I’ll take a 62,’’ said DeChambeau, who won this tournament two years ago. ‘’I’m very pleased with how I played today. Didn’t hit it my best, but I put it in the right spots a lot of the times today.’’
Patrick Cantlay, a winner and twice the runner-up in his last three appearances in Las Vegas, did his best to catch him. Cantlay made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 63. His only blemish was a long three-putt bogey on the 14th.
‘’The birdies will come out here if you’re patient and play smart,’’ Cantlay said. ‘’Today they did, so hopefully the next three days are more of the same.’’
Harold Varner III, Scott Harrington, Nate Lashley and Austin Cook also were at 63. Six players were at 64. With no wind and warm air, the course played nearly 3 shots under par.
It’s easy to overlook putting when DeChambeau is swinging for the fences – he actually cleared the fence and put a dent in a car park behind the range on Wednesday – but he had a pair of 10-foot par saves and made his first birdie on No. 12 with an 18-foot putt. DeChambeau easily reached the 314-yard 15th hole, the start of a dynamic finishing stretch at the TPC Summerlin. More impressive was smashing driver on the 381-yard seventh hole toward the end of his round, the ball rolling onto the green to about 15 feet as the group ahead of him was still putting.—AP