Conway Farms puts up little fight as low scores dominate BMW opening round

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Conway Farms puts up little fight as low scores dominate BMW opening round

PGA Tour

Conway Farms puts up little fight as low scores dominate BMW opening round

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – It was a chamber of commerce type of day Thursday at the BMW Championship. Sunny skies, perfect temperatures, little wind – and Conway Farms could do little to put up a fight.

In each of its first two chances at hosting Chicagoland’s FedEx Cup playoff event, Conway Farms had never allowed a scoring average below 70.176. On Thursday, though, the scoring average was 68.855 as players feasted on those ideal scoring conditions.

“I’m a little surprised,” Charley Hoffman said. “During the pro-am, the greens were real firm. Got out there this afternoon and the greens were a little more receptive. I don’t know what they did, but the greens were definitely way more receptive today than yesterday. That usually leads to low scores.”

Hoffman made nine birdies and shot 7-under 64. That score, though, was only good for a three-way tie for second.

Marc Leishman made 10 birdies and fired an opening 62 and leads by two shots over Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark and Jason Day, who won the 2015 BMW but was playing his first event since letting longtime caddie, Col Swatton, go.

“When you play golf and all you’re thinking about is making birdies it’s a lot easier than trying to not make bogeys,” Leishman said. “When your confidence is low and you’re not putting great, it puts more pressure on your entire game, and when your putter is rolling well it takes pressure off your game. All you’re thinking about is making as birdies as possible. It’s nice to make 10 of them today.”

Said Day: “”I was sitting there 3 under through 10 and all of a sudden I’m at 7 under.”

Nine players shot 65 or better in Round 1, including Rickie Fowler, who birdied six straight holes on his back nine (Nos. 12-17), and Jordan Spieth, who was among nine players to go bogey-free.

“I felt like I really stole a few shots out of this golf course,” Spieth said, “which is rare to feel like you scored better than you played.”

Conway Farms is generally a birdie-making course. Day shot 61 in the opening round in 2015. And in 2013, Jim Furyk carded a 59 in the second round.

But still, there were unusually high amounts of red on the leaderboad Thursday at the BMW.

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