Tour Championship Round 1 Recap: Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at -10

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Tour Championship Round 1 Recap: Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at -10

PGA Tour

Tour Championship Round 1 Recap: Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele share lead at -10

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Justin Thomas entered the Tour Championship with a 2-shot advantage.

By the end of play Thursday, his bulge was gone.

Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele joined Thomas in a three-way tie for the lead at 10-under after the first round.

Schauffele mowed through East Lake and marched to a bogey-free 6-under 64 in the final event of the PGA Tour season and the FedEx Cup Championship.

Koepka countered with a 3-under 67 after starting the day in third place and 3 strokes back of Thomas at 7-under.

Thomas settled for an even-par 70.

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Thomas held a share of the lead for most of the day before he lost it after  some struggles on the back nine. A bogey on 12 was followed by a double on 15 as he splashed his tee shot on the par-3 hole. He then missed a 3-footer on 17.

Schauffele was steady and decisive all afternoon. He sank a 26-foot, 4-inch putt for birdie on No. 5 and stuck a 13-footer for another birdie at 11.

There are 10 players within four shots of the lead, including Rory McIlroy (-9), Matt Kuchar (-8) and Patrick Cantlay (-8).

The winner of the Tour Championship pockets a $15 million first-place check (before taxes, of course) and bragging rights as the 2019 FedEx Cup champion.

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There is no PGA Tour prize money being offered this week. The $45 million mountain of cash at stake is considered FedEx Cup bonus money and does not count toward a player’s official season earnings. The first-place prize and overall purse represent the largest payouts in PGA Tour history.

A top-five finish is worth at least $2.5 million this weekend. That is more prize money than a 1st-place finish in any other 2018-19 season tournament, including the four majors. The last-place guaranteed money in the 30-player Tour Championship is $395,000. That’s more than Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen earned for their T-7 finish in the U.S. Open.

There is another $15 million in FedEx Cup bonus money dispersed among those players who finished 31-150 in the final standings after last week. Those payouts range from $200,000 down to $70,000.

Follow below for updates all afternoon from East Lake.

Tour Championship Live Blog

5 p.m.: As the workday ended (for some) on the East Coast, Xander Schauffele officially obliterated Justin Thomas’ advantage at the Tour Championship by taking the solo lead at 10-under following a 6-under bogey-free run over 17 holes. Thomas fell back to 9-under and into a tie with Brooks Koepka after his water-logged double on 15.

4:54 p.m.: Justin Thomas became the first golfer to hit the water on 15 Thursday when he splashed his first tee shot on the hole. He was 11-under overall and held a 1-shot lead over Xander Schauffele. Earlier, Thomas’ built-in 2-shot lead had dissipated and he was tied with Patrick Cantlay and Schauffele.

4:51 p.m.: Don’t sleep on this guy.

4:40 p.m.: Justin Thomas briefly fell into a three-way tie with Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay at 10-under before sinking a birdie on No. 14. Thomas is 11-under overall and 1-under on the day. Schauffele, meanwhile, has gained 6 shots through 16 holes and trails by one at 10-under. Cantlay is two back.

4:02 p.m.: Xander Schauffele has picked up 5 shots through 12 holes and sits tied in second with Patrick Cantlay at 9-under. Brooks Koepka had pushed to within 1 shot of the lead before he was stifled by back-to-back bogeys at the turn. Justin Thomas, who began the day at 10-under, has gained a shot to keep his margin at two.

3:23 p.m.: Justin Thomas has pushed himself back to a 2-shot lead after a birdie on the 6th hole. He’s 11-under, while Koepka remains at -9.

2:56 p.m.: Brooks Koepka has no problems playing while wearing clothes. Claad in all black on a warm and humid Atlanta summer afternoon, Koepka has picked up 2 shots playing after starting the day at 7-under. He trails Justin Thomas just one shot.

2:06 p.m.: The leaders are off. Justin Thomas begins his day with a 2-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay and launches his tee shot to the right side on the fairway.

1:15 p.m.: Of the players who are underway – only Hideki Matsuyama sits within 6 shots of the year at 4-under after 2 holes.

12:30 p.m.: Play is underway at East Lake. And even though Jason Kokrak is 2-under on the day through 5 holes, he trails Justin Thomas by 8 shots. It’s going to be that sort of day until everyone gets on the course. Thomas goes out at 2:05 p.m.

Tour Championship Twitter Stream

Tour Championship Tee Times

All times are Eastern.

1st Tee – Thursday

Tee Time Players
11:45 a.m. Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak
11:55 a.m. Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III
12:05 p.m. Chez Reavie, Bryson DeChambeau
12:15 p.m. Corey Conners, Sungjae Im
12:25 p.m. Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood
12:35 p.m. Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
12:45 p.m. Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker
12:55 p.m. Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey
1:05 p.m. Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson
1:15 p.m. Gary Woodland, Tony Finau
1:25 p.m. Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer
1:35 p.m. Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele
1:45 p.m. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm
1:55 p.m. Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed
2:05 p.m. Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay

Tour Championship Round 1 Hole Locations

Tour Championship TV/Streaming Schedule

Thursday

Golf Channel: 1 – 6 p.m.
PGA Tour Live: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Featured Groups)
PGA Tour Radio: 12 – 6 p.m. (XM 92/Sirius 208)

Friday

Golf Channel: 1 – 6 p.m.
PGA Tour Live: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Featured Groups)
PGA Tour Radio: 12 – 6 p.m. (XM 92/Sirius 208)

Saturday

Golf Channel: 1 – 2 :30 p.m.
NBC: 2:30 – 7 p.m.
PGA Tour Radio: 2 – 7 p.m. (XM 92/Sirius 208)

Sunday

Golf Channel: 12 – 1:30 p.m.
NBC: 1:30 – 6 p.m.
PGA Tour Radio: 1 – 6 p.m. (XM 92/Sirius 208)

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