World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was one of eight golfers to shoot a 4-under-par 66 Thursday in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.
Scheffler wound up tied for the lead at Colonial Country Club with Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Harold Varner III, Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler, Canadian Nick Taylor and Australian Cam Davis.
Seven more were a shot back after carding 3-under 67s: Kevin Na, Davis Riley, Scott Stallings, Pat Perez, Austin Smotherman, South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
Scheffler rebounded from missing the cut at the PGA Championship — his first missed cut since October — with a bogey-free round. The Masters champion started his day on the back nine and made three of his four birdies between the 14th and 18th holes.
“(At) the PGA, I just kind of got on the wrong side of things and I didn’t play good,” said Scheffler, a Dallas native. “I just made too many errors and that’s what’s going to happen in a major championship.”
Scheffler was the only co-leader to avoid a bogey on his card. Reed, a nine-time PGA Tour winner and 2018 Masters champ, compiled five birdies before one misstep on his final hole, the par-4 ninth. He overshot the green and had a poor chip coming back, leading to a bogey.
Reed is looking for his first top-20 finish since early January at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
“Honestly I feel like there’s been too many days that I’ve done a lot of things really well and just the number hasn’t really reflected it,” Reed said. “But the great thing about a season is it’s a season. You have a lot of time left.”
At the other end of the spectrum were Hossler and Varner, who had wild days on the course.
Hossler holed out for two eagles in his final four holes — both par 4s. He knocked in his second shot at No. 6 from 64 yards away and holed out again from 134 yards out at No. 9, which handed him a share of the lead.
Varner opened with a bogey at the par-5 first hole, rang up a string of three short birdie putts and bogeyed again at No. 5. After the turn, he went birdie-eagle-birdie at the 10th through 12th holes; he left himself just 5 feet for his eagle putt at the par-5 11th thanks to another tight approach shot.
But two more bogeys soon knocked him back.
“At the end of the day it’s 4 under,” Varner said. “I think that’s a really good score. It’s a great start, but we understand that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Local Dallas-Fort Worth favorite Jordan Spieth opened with a 1-under 69. Justin Thomas shot a 1-over 71 in his first round since winning last week’s PGA Championship. Will Zalatoris, who lost to Thomas in a playoff and also hails from the Dallas area, shot a 2-over 72.
–Field Level Media