15 October 2021: In the limited field CJ CUP loaded with some of the finest golfers on the planet, the top of the leaderboard has an unfamiliar look. Robert Streb soared ahead on a tournament record 61, gaining a one-stroke lead over Keith Mitchell. Harry Higgs shot 64 for the third spot on the board, with Viktor Hovland, Sergio Garcia and Hudson Swafford tied at 65.
Robert Streb burst through the gates with an emphatic birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-
No one ever started the CJ CUP better than 63, that was Justin Thomas in 2017. In fact Streb has never done better than 63 on the TOUR. He shot 63 five times, most recently at the RSM Classic in 2020. Streb collected both his wins at the RSM Classic, in 2014 and 2020. Incidentally Mitchell also improved the mark set by Thomas. Streb leads the field in strokes gained tee to grain, with a 4.359 stroke advantage over the field. He was also leading the driving accuracy numbers, making 13 of the 14 fairways.
Mitchell also equalled his own best with the 62, he made the same score at the Sony Open earlier in 2021. He shot ten birdies, also tying the most in his career. He also made ten birdies in the second round at The Northern Trust. The putter was key to his effort on Thursday. He gained 4.862 strokes with it, needing just 24 putts.
Hideki Matsuyama was the best placed Asian golfer, with an opening round 66. K.H. Lee made 67 while Sungjae Im, Seonghyeon Kim and Joohyung Kim settled for a 68 on their cards.
Bogey Free Rounds: Keith Mitchell (62), Viktor Hovland (65), Hideki Matsuyama (66), Ian Poulter (66), Rickie Fowler (66), Brian Harman (67), Max Homa (67), Tyrrell Hatton (67), Tony Finau (68), Stewart Cink (69)
Robert Streb 61 (-11)
Keith Mitchell 62 (-10)
Harry Higgs 64 (-8)
Hudson Swafford 65 (-7)
Sergio Garcia 65 (-7)
Viktor Hovland 65 (-7)
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