Cantlay, Reed take the early lead after the first a; defending champ tied for 13th
The first round of the 2018 Hero World Challenge is in the history books and Americans Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed lead the field by three strokes. Round two gets underway this morning at the Albany Golf Course at Albany. Reed and Cantlay both shot a 65 (seven-under par) on the day.
Cantlay birdied holes seven, eight, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18. He was able to shoot even par on the other holes, avoiding a bogey. He is donating $500 for every birdie he makes to the California Strong Foundation. Cantlay took some time out to address how he was able to shoot a bogey-free round yesterday.
“Yeah, golf course played much different today, obviously with no wind or little wind compared to yesterday (Wednesday during the pro-am tournament). Greens are really fast, and so I got going a little bit with the putter and made some putts,” he said.
This was the first time Cantlay competed at Albany. He hit the course on Tuesday in a practice round and Wednesday during the pro-am tournament to get a feel of the course and the nuances.
His previous tournament was about a month ago – the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He finished one stroke behind winner Bryson DeChambeau who shot five-under par.
Cantlay underwent two surgeries since then and wasn’t expected to be back so soon and competing at such a high level.
Reed opened the first round shooting birdies on the first two holes. He got a birdie on the seventh hole before bogeying hole number eight. He got a birdie on holes 11, 14, 16 and 18.
“I went out there and did what I had to do. Kind of coming into today I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty solid. My coach and I, I was able to kind of get him in town this week and kind of fine-tuned some things; to kind of get him in town when it’s supposed to be windy, and when the wind dies down you have to attack this place, you have to make birdies. To kind of putt the way like I felt I did today as well as hit the ball and flight the ball how I wanted to, was very positive because that was the biggest thing for today,” Reed said.
He is glad to be here to support Tiger Woods and the Hero World Challenge – the only Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour event currently held in The Bahamas. He loves the course.
Woods, the tournament host, had a very tough day on the course. He is tied for 16th with a score of 73 (one-over par). He is tied up with Xander Schauffele of the United States.
Woods was good with the driver, but he was not quite comfortable with his game yesterday.
“I didn’t quite feel comfortable with my game even though I drove it great. It was definitely reflective in my scoring today. I didn’t quite feel comfortable and just didn’t quite hit the ball close enough, or give myself a lot of looks at it,” Woods said.
He bogeyed holes two and five, and then recovered from those two bogeys and hit birdies on holes six and seven.
He was at even par up until hole 12. He triple-bogeyed hole 12 to take him three strokes over par. He responded on holes 15 and 18 with birdies to end the day one over par.
About hole 12, Woods said: “It was grainy. I had a little patch right behind the golf ball and I tried to toe it in there in trying to make sure I actually hit it long. I was trying to play for like a 10-12-footer coming back, and it just didn’t come out and it blew back in the hazard.”
Woods acknowledged that he is under the weather, run down a bit and tired. For the rest of the tournament, he wants to hit the ball closer than he did yesterday. He admitted that he didn’t take advantage of the benign conditions yesterday.
Cantlay said he is still trying to figure out the course and he feels like he knows it a little bit better after yesterday. He is looking forward to the rest of the tournament.
Last year’s winner Rickie Fowler, of the United States, is tied for 13th. He shot even par on the first eight holes before bogeying hole number nine. He managed three birdies on the back nine but doubled bogeyed hole 16. He ended the day even par.
The 2018 Hero World Challenge is a $3.5 million purse tournament with the winner taking home $1 million. The PGA Tour event will continue through the weekend, ending on Sunday. The field includes 14 of the top 20 players in the world.
Cantlay and Reed will tee-off at 12:43 p.m. in round two action today. Fowler will tee off at 11:25 a.m. alongside Schauffele.
Woods will be the first one out the gates along with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan. They will tee-off at 11:15 a.m.