Robert Streb sets the pace in CJ Cup

A career best and tournament record 61 helped Robert Streb soar to the front of a high quality limited field at The Summit Club in Las Vegas

47
Robert Streb - Getty Images - PGA TOUR

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-birdie-birdie start, as he raced through the front nine in 7-under 29. But he was seven-under already through the first six holes, joining Brandt Snedeker as the only two men to start a PGA TOUR event with such a rousing start during the shot link era.

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)

 

Leaders:

Robert Streb                      61 (-11)
Keith Mitchell                    62 (-10)
Harry Higgs                        64 (-8)
Hudson Swafford               65 (-7)
Sergio Garcia                      65 (-7)
Viktor Hovland                   65 (-7)