La Quinta, CA – PGA Tour Stop in La Quinta at PGA West has a great first day with leaders from two of the courses. With one day in the book four golfers are tied at (-8) under Jerry Kelly, Jason Dufner, Jeff Overton, and Anirban Lahiri.
The CareerBuilder Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation is unique PGA tour stop that allow the most amateurs and they play for first three days. Then the top amateurs gross and net get the opportunity to play on Sunday as well. The golfers this weekend will each play at the TPC Stadium Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and at La Quinta Country Club at least once before finishing the Sunday at TPC Stadium Course. Each course is par 72 to keep players on an even playing field for this PGA tour event.
Last year champion Bill Haas had good day finishing (-6) and tied for 7th place after competing on La Quinta CC course. Spencer Levin also finished (-6) for the day having a great eagle from the 18th fairway on the Nicklaus Course. Levin was all smiles giving a few high fives right after the incredible shot.
Few other big names on the course finished day one with scores of Ricky Barnes (-6), Matt Kuchar (-5), Rory Sabbatini (-4) and Phil Mickelson (-4). Mickelson here in desert is always a fan favorite and his front nine was electric with 3 birdies and an eagle on par 4 8th hole at La Quinta course. He was asked about his solid performance today, “It was a fun start to the year. I’ve had a lot of time off… It was a good way it start(ed).” Most may not know Mickelson had been working to get swing back on plane, “It was actually a lot of work for the last three months of video drills and what I was feeling and what I was doing were so far apart…”
Bill Haas looking to join only Arnold Palmer as a winner of the CareerBuilder Challenge at least three times. He started off his round with eagle on first hole, and was asked about his solid start, “Ball striking I think I left a lot of room for improvement, which is a good sign.” So the rest of the PGA field here should be on lookout as Haas looks to repeat.