AVONDALE, La. – The Zurich Classic began in a downpour, with the early morning groups playing in significantly wet conditions for Thursday’s Round 1 best ball at TPC Louisiana.
Then, around 8:31 a.m. local time, the rain stopped right before Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover were about to tee off on the 10th hole. Reavie birdied the first two holes by himself, the sun came out a little later in the round and the duo was off and running.
Reavie and Glover shot a combined 12-under 60 Thursday morning and are tied for the lead with Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng Dou. Six teams are T-2 and two shots back at 10 under, including Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley/Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry/Tom Hoge, Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown, Troy Merritt/Brendon De Jonge and Michael Kim/Andrew Putnam.
“Once the rain stopped on the first tee, it was going to be a good day,” Reavie said. “We were just rolling. I think we’re comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we’re playing golf, and it definitely helps.”
That’s been a common theme around the traveling circus that is the PGA Tour this week. As the only team event on schedule, the Zurich Classic breaks up the mundaneness of it all. Guys can pick their partners and they have fun with it. They even interview as a team after the rounds like Brennan Huff and Dale Doback in “Step Brothers.”
The entire vibe is just less uptight than most weeks. Players seem to have their guards down, fans can get really close to the action and there are no shortage of extracurricular activities in New Orleans.
Jim Furyk and David Duval were among those smiling as they walked off the course Thursday following a 7-under 65.
“Everyone likes to go out and play golf with folks they enjoy, friends of theirs, and this tournament gives you an opportunity to go compete with one of your buddies and really have a good time,” Furyk said. “Everyone is competitive on this Tour and everyone wants to play well, but you look at this week and it’s a rare opportunity to go out and really, for some folks the fun is gonna take precedent and you’re gonna try to play some good golf around it.”
The golf will get tougher during Friday’s alternate shot, with some big names lurking off the lead. Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan are T-32 at 6 under, as are Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer. Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley, meanwhile, are T-77 and second-to-last after managing a 2-under 70.
“We both feel good with what we’re doing with our ball, and especially with the format,” said Palmer, who finished fourth with Spieth a year ago. “That was our format last year. I think we played well in the alternate shot. We got a good strategy going into it, so I look forward to a good day.”