FORT WORTH, Texas – Ryan Palmer was standing in the fairway on his last hole Thursday when his longtime caddie and fellow Colonial member issued a challenge.
James Edmondson, who won his third Colonial club championship last year, told Palmer that a birdie would match the caddie’s low round at Hogan’s Alley.
What do you do when you get that thrown at you, Palmer said.
Palmer hit his approach to 5 feet at the 388-yard ninth hole for an 8-under 62 that matched the lowest PGA Tour first round at Colonial. That put him a stroke ahead of John Rollins, who had his best round this season.
For all the rounds Palmer has played at Colonial, where he has been a full dues-paying member since 2010, he had never had such a low score. He generally plays there two or three times a week during the offseason and once or twice during weeks he’s not playing the PGA Tour.
These old men here make me grind because I have to give them so many shots. Maybe that helps, Palmer said, smiling. Usually in a practice round, I don’t think I’ve shot below 65. You just don’t grind a lot. In this situation, you grind a little harder. You are able to focus more. When I’m out here with the guys, I mean half the time I might grab a few (beers) for the back nine.
Graham DeLaet matched Morgan Hoffmann, David Hearn and John Peterson at 64. Matt Kuchar, No. 13 in the world ranking, was in a group of six players at 65.
EUROPEAN: In Virginia Water, England, South Africa’s James Kingston shot a 6-under 66 at Wentworth to take the lead during the suspended first round of the BMW PGA Championship.
Afternoon play was delayed for about 90 minutes in the European Tour’s flagship event and five groups were still on the course when the round was suspended for the day because of darkness.
Finland’s Mikko Ilonen opened with a 67, and Scotland’s Scott Henry and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano shot 68. Austria’s Martin Wiegele also was 4 under with five holes left.
CHAMPIONS: In St. Louis, Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf shared the first-round lead at the Senior PGA Championship, shooting 5-under 66 at Bellerive Country Club.
The 59-year-old Haas, the winner of the major championship in 2006 and 2008, had a bogey-free round. The 50-year-old Waldorf had six birdies and one bogey.
Sonny Skinner, the PGA head professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., was a stroke back along with Japan’s Kiyoshi Murota.
LPGA: In Paradise Island, Bahamas, the inaugural Bahamas Classic will start today over 12 holes, and the number of holes could be expanded each day depending on how fast the water drains. The hope was for an 18-hole finish on Sunday.
A storm the locals haven’t seen in 20 years poured a foot of rain on Paradise Island earlier in the week, flooding much of Ocean Club, shortening the course to 12 holes.