July 21, 2017: Zac Blair, Martin Flores and Cameron Tringale shared the Barbasol Championship lead at 6-under 65 on Thursday when first-round play was suspended because of darkness.
Arjun shot a triple bogey at the par-4 third hole, making an ominous start to his round. But then he fought back with gusto – firing birdies on three of the five holes to make the turn in an even 35 shots.
Arjun added birdies at the 11th, 15th and 16th holes to go three under before a bogey at the 17th reeled him back slightly.
Flores and Tringale played in the morning at Grand National’s Lake Course, and Blair finished his afternoon round in humid conditions after a rain delay of nearly two hours.
“It wasn’t too bad out there even before the delay,” Blair said. “It actually probably got a little muggier after the delay, but overall it was pretty nice.”
The three leaders are winless on the PGA TOUR.
Blair eagled the par-5 fifth — hitting his second shot to a foot — and added four birdies.
“I hit a good drive down there, got a good bounce, was able to go for it in two,” Blair said. “I had like 260 (yards) or something like that, hit it right in the middle of the green, kind of took that hill down there. I knew it was going to be pretty close once it started rolling left. Walked up there and it was about 12 inches, so those are always nice.”
Flores birdied the first two holes and three of the first five, then birdied three of the last six.
“I didn’t really strike my approaches that well in the middle of the round, so getting the ball up-and-down a few times was key to keeping the momentum,” Flores said. “Something that I’ve been lacking this season is just keeping the rounds going and I was able to do that today, which was a huge positive.”
Tringale birdied four of the last six holes.
“You’ve got to be in the fairway out here,” Tringale said. “The rough’s long and the couple times I was in it, it was tough getting out. So being in the fairway definitely sets you up to have the most amount of chances to hit the ball close and hole the putts.”
Robert Allenby, Chad Campbell, Rory Sabbatini and Tag Ridings shot 66, and Richy Werenski also was 5 under with two holes left. Allenby, the 46-year-old Australian who won all four of his PGA TOUR titles in 2000 and 2001, is used to the hot and muggy conditions.
“Well, I live in Florida. Now remember, I’m from the great southern land down under, so it’s pretty hot down there, too,” Allenby said. “It’s just hot and sweaty, so it’s just hard to keep everything dry as far as the sweat. But I played well. I was happy with the way I hit it, putted well.”
Steven Alker was 6 under after eight holes, then bogeyed two of the next five. He was 4 under with five holes to play.
Jim Furyk opened with a 69. The 47-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain is playing the event after failing to qualify for the British Open.
“It wasn’t a great round by any means, but it was a good, solid round and kind of keeps me in there,” Furyk said.
He took the last three weeks off for a long-planned European river cruise with his family, and has been fighting a shoulder problem.
“It’s a little sore, but it’s been a little sore since the U.S. Open,” Furyk said. “Part of being 47.”