Outside Woods' spotlight, Chalmers leads National

Greg Chalmers during his first-round-leading 66 in the PGA Tour's 2014 Quicken Loans National at Congressional.
Greg Chalmers during his first-round-leading 66 in the PGA Tour's 2014 Quicken Loans National at Congressional. ( Associated Press )

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greg Chalmers finished with three straight birdies for a 66 and a one-shot lead over Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson after Thursday's first round of the Quicken Loans National. Defending champion Bill Haas, Patrick Reed, U.S. Open runner-up Erik Compton and Tyrone Van Aswegen shot 68.

On a day when only 26 players in the 120-man field broke par at Congressional, Chalmers found the lead at 5 under.

"I didn't think it was easy at all," Chalmers said. "I played really well, and I think anybody who plays really well can shoot a low score. You just have to be coming out of the fairway, and I didn't that the majority of the time today."

Chalmers started his day with a birdie at No. 10 and added two more at Nos. 16-17 before carding his only bogey at No. 2.

Barnes also had a stretch of three birdies, at Nos. 6-8, adding two more after the turn before finishing bogey-par-par. Jacobson made the turn at 2 under before bogeying Nos. 1-2 and birdieing four times down the stretch.

Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and TIger Woods, a trio of top-10 players combined for six bogeys in two holes. All three of them were in the fairway on the same hole one time the entire round — on No. 11, the hardest at Congressional, and only because Day's tee shot ricocheted off a tree.

Day had a 73, Spieth shot 74 and Woods slipped to T-83 at 3 over with a 74 as well.

"It was cool playing the first one back," Spieth said. "I love playing alongside Jason, as well. We are all rooting for each other, and that's a good feeling. It was hard to root for each other because it just looked like the lid was closed on the hole. But once we all started hitting a couple fairways, it got better at the end.

"… We saw what happened when he found his rhythm," Spieth said, alluding to Woods making three birdies over his last six holes, and missing only one green.

"We were all kind of looking to break 80," Woods said. "It was a bit of a fight today for all of us, but we all hung in there."

– Associated Press contributed