Spaun, Landry go low, but Quicken Loans National will get tougher from here

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Spaun, Landry go low, but Quicken Loans National will get tougher from here

PGA Tour

Spaun, Landry go low, but Quicken Loans National will get tougher from here

POTOMAC, Md. – Thursday’s Round 1 of the Quicken Loans National presented a rare chance to go low at TPC Potomac.

It was likely the most player-friendly day we’ll see all week, and J.J. Spaun and Andrew Landry took advantage with a pair of 7-under 63s.

“It’s nice to know that a number out there is (possible),” Spaun said. “Obviously the conditions were pretty favorable, the wind wasn’t that bad. … It stayed in the same direction all day so you weren’t getting a bunch of tricky wind locations.”

Blazing hot temperatures and tougher conditions are expected the rest of the week on a course which played as the most difficult non-major venue all of last season.

Billy Horschel and Andrew Putnam also put themselves in a good spot at T-3 and just one shot off the lead, while Abraham Ancer and Beau Hossler sit T-5 at 5 under.

“I know it’s playing a lot different than it did last year, but it’s still a long week,” Landry said. “I mean, there’s a lot of golf left and it’s just a great start.”

The 7-under 63 tied a career low for Landry, who picked up his first PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Valero Texas Open. He also shot 63 in the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where he lost to Jon Rahm in a playoff.

Spaun is a promising talent still looking for the breakthrough victory. The 27-year-old has six career top-10 finishes and three this season, including a T-3 at last month’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

He rolled in seven birdies on the afternoon thanks in part to an equipment change. He used a mallet at the Travelers and went back to a Scotty Newport 2 this week, which he said is “basically a Tiger Woods knockoff.”

Woods went the opposite direction for Thursday’s opening round, switching from his Scotty Cameron to a mallet-style TaylorMade Ardmore 3. He shot even-par 70 and is T-48 going into Round 2, and he’ll need to make a move quickly with conditions only getting tougher from here.

“It’s nice for the confidence to get off to a good start and to kind of have some freedom to go out there tomorrow and try to back it up,” Spaun said. “You don’t really expect to back it up with another 7 under, but I think anything under par on this course is a great round.”

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