Friday, December 15, 2017
Golf

Brian Stuard leads, No. 1 Jason Day lurks in PGA event

AVONDALE, La. — Brian Stuard shot 8-under 64 on Thursday to top the leaderboard in the suspended first round of the Zurich Classic.

Stuard, 33, had 21 putts in his bogey-free round at TPC Louisiana, finishing his final hole after a rain delay of nearly five hours.

"It was just one of those days where it seemed like I was really reading the putts well, and luckily they were going in," he said. "I picked this putter up last week in San Antonio and had a good feel for it. I putted well last week and it continued over to today."

None of the afternoon starters finished before darkness suspended play.

Top-ranked Jason Day bogeyed his final two holes after the delay for 69.

"It's just the waiting part," Day said. "Obviously, the weather hovering above us just wouldn't go away. It had just been a very long wait, and you just want to get in and finish. I had two holes left. Yeah, I mean, clearly a little frustrated, but looking forward to tomorrow."

The Australian is the first No. 1 player to play in the event since David Duval in 1999.

"I've just got to manage myself out there," Day said. "Obviously, this is going to be bit of a tough week with these double start rounds. Some guys are going out to play 27 holes (today), or some guys have got to play 36. With that said, I might be able to sneak in nine holes and play 27 on Saturday, but I've just got to stay positive, keep moving forward, and see how it goes from there."

Retief Goosen (65) was second. The 47-year-old South African is a two-time U.S. Open champion.

"I hit a couple of bad shots coming in, unfortunately, but I managed to save pars," Goosen said. "It'll be a long wait now until my next round."

J.J. Henry, Geoff Ogilvy, Derek Ernst, Charles Howell and Patrick Rodgers shot 67, and Rickie Fowler topped a group at 68.

"A lot of just sitting around, hanging out," Fowler said. "Boo (Weekley) was in there sleeping at one point. … There might have been some pictures posted on Snapchat. But no, it's always fun to hang with the fellow players and families and just kind of relax."

Stuard, winless on the PGA Tour, is making only his seventh start this season.

LPGA: Mi Jung Hur topped the South Korean-dominated leaderboard in the Texas Shootout, opening with 5-under 66 in breezy conditions in Irving. Hur made five straight birdies on the 15th to the first hole. "My putting just was everything on the course today," Hur said. "My shot wasn't that good and my address wasn't that comfortable, but my putting did really well." South Korean players held six of the top eight positions. So Yeon Ryu and Eun-Hee Ji were tied for second with American Gerina Piller at 67, and Sei Young Kim, Amy Yang, Jenny Shin and Scotland's Catriona Matthew shot 68.

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