Los Angeles, CA – After the morning rain moved east the wet golf course was no match for Camilo Villegas the day 1 leader (-8 under par). On the flip side fan favorite Jordan Spieth was on opposite side in the black number (8 over par) and in danger of not playing the weekend. There are three others lurk just three shots back at (-5 under par) being tied for second Chez Reavie, Bubba Watson, and Luke List.
Villegas had missed the cut in his last four starts, but Villegas got rolling on Thursday with an opening-round 63 to finish with few stroke lead. The four-time winner is looking for his first top-10 finish since his victory at the Wyndham Championship in 2014. Today’s 63 is Villegas’ lowest round on TOUR since a 63 to open the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii. The score of 63 also matches the lowest opening round in tournament history.
Watson is playing in the Northern Trust Open for the 10th consecutive year. He was the 2014 champion recording his lowest first-round score ever at the tournament with an opening 5-under-par 66. Watson had only shot in the 60s (69) on one other occasion in the first round at Riviera Country Club in 2009. So if he can match his performance on Friday the weekend should set up well for his game.
After his round Villegas spoke at his day, “Yeah, obviously things were going good there. You don’t really shoot 8-under around this place not playing good. Obviously the rain yesterday made the golf course a lot more accessible.” One key was how he was able to flow with the change with the weather, ” Yeah, like I said, I was very surprised seeing 6-irons stopping where they were stopping. And from there on, I fly my third shot all the way to the hole on the 11th hole, and then the same thing with 12, I was aggressive, made a nice birdie there and you’ve just got to shut the mind and remember you’re playing a totally different golf course, which is what I did.”
Spieth was able to keep his sense of humor to the end of round even when his scores were not going the right way. Today was just a ruff day of golf for one of the top PGA golfers. Spieth said, ” So I tried to do better today, even when it wasn’t going my way to just be quiet, stay focused and try and make the next shot. None of them seemed to go in but at least that’s what I was doing.”
So let’s get ready for a new course tomorrow, TGIF as they say……..