Ryan Moore shoots 61 to take Las Vegas lead
LAS VEGAS — Ryan Moore matched the course record and his career best with a 10-under 61 on Thursday in the first round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The former UNLV player had nine birdies, an eagle — on the 341-yard, par-4 15th — and a bogey in perfect conditions at TPC Summerlin to take a one-stroke lead in the Fall Series opener.
"Just one of those nice days," Moore said. "Got off to a great start. Kind of 7 under on the front nine and just kind of cruised the next nine. Made bogey there on my 17th hole, No. 8, which I wasn't too happy about. It was great to bounce back with a birdie on the ninth hole.
"No wind and perfect temperature, greens are reasonably soft and rolling nice on top of that. So it's one of those days that you just keep putting it in play. You know you're going to have a bunch of pitching wedges, 9-irons, 8-irons into these greens, and a few shorter irons, too."
Brendon de Jonge had a 62, and Tim Herron and John Huh shot 63. Justin Leonard, Chris Kirk and Jonas Blixt were three strokes back at 64. Kirk eagled the 15th and par-5 16th.
Moore also shot a 61 this season in the Humana Challenge on PGA West's Nicklaus Course. The Las Vegas resident has seven top-10 finishes and is 36th on the money list. The final top 30 will receive spots in the Masters.
Moore tied the TPC Summerlin record set by Davis Love III in 2001 and matched by Tag Ridings in 2004 and Hunter Haas in 2011. Chip Beck holds the overall tournament record, shooting a 59 in 1991 at Sunrise Golf Club.
"I had no idea that was the course record, so that's nice," Moore said. "I've just been playing good, solid golf lately. Just kind of keep hitting the ball solid and giving myself opportunities. On a golf course like this, I'm probably more comfortable. I've played it more this year than any other coming into it."
He won the 2009 Wyndham Championship for his lone PGA Tour title.
De Jonge saved par on the 15th hole after driving onto the front right bunker, then lining his next shot into the back left bunker. But he hit his third from 70 feet within 2 feet of the hole.
"It wasn't a very good lie," de Jonge said about his 70-foot shot. "I was trying to get under it, and to be honest, I half shanked it. I was kind of lucky that it caught the lip on the way out."
Herron was just glad to be back in action after having the last six weeks off.
"I didn't hit it terrible, but I didn't feel like I was quite really on my game," Herron said. "Maybe that's just taking six weeks off. Hopefully, I can get some confidence and hit some of the shots when I really need to hit some shots."
Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton had a 66, and defending champion Kevin Na opened with a 68. Casey Martin shot a 71. The Oregon coach, playing on a sponsor exemption, is allowed to use a cart in competition because of a rare circulatory disorder in his right leg.