Here is a recap of Thursday’s opening round at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier at The Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Simpson played his first 16 holes in 9 under on Thursday and could’ve shot 59 with a 2-under finish in his last two. He went par-par for a 9-under 61 instead and took a one-shot lead.
An opening birdie got Simpson going in a flawless round and he was 2 under through eight. But a scorching stretch around the turn defined his day. Simpson made three straight birdies at Nos. 9-11 and eagled the 12th to quickly move to 7 under for the round.
Birdies at Nos. 14 and 16 put him in the potential for sub-60 territory.
Simpson, 32, has had mixed results since his dominating win in May at the Players Championship. He has followed up with a T-10 at the U.S. Open, but his other two post-Players performances were both missed cuts.
It appears early at the Greenbrier that he’s trending back toward what we saw at TPC Sawgrass.
CHASING: Lightning in the area caused a weather delay for nearly two hours in the middle of the afternoon, but the round did indeed finish on Thursday. Whee Kim shot an 8-under 62 to sit solo second. Joaquin Niemann, 19, fired a 7-under 63 to jump out to the lead early. By day’s end, he was solo third and two back.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Well, it wasn’t a well-struck shot. But the final result was fantastic…
SHORT SHOTS: Keegan Bradley is among those in a tie for fifth at 5 under. … Defending champion Xander Schauffele is T-9 after a 4-under 66. Phil Mickelson is also at that number after his own 66. … Tony Finau is T-24 after a 3-under 67. … Bubba Watson fired a 68 to find himself T-44. … Potter could only manage a 73 (T-137) despite that nice gift. … John Daly is T-153 after a 77. … Smylie Kaufman withdrew following a Thursday 79.