Sunday, December 17, 2017
Golf

Wagner, Gainey lead by two at Greenbrier Classic

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The mustache is gone, and for one round, at least, Johnson Wagner also didn't have to deal with playing bad golf.

Wagner and Tommy Gainey shot 8-under 62 Thursday to share a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Greenbrier Classic.

Webb Simpson and Jin Park were close behind after 64st. Daniel Summerhays, Tag Ridings, Steven Bowditch and Neal Lancaster, 50, were another shot back.

Players were able to lift, clean and place their balls after rain fell before the start of play. Gainey and Wagner had bogey-free rounds in the morning. Wagner was 8 under after 12 holes.

Wagner doesn't have a top-10 finish this year, and the three-time PGA Tour champion hasn't won since the 2012 Sony Open. In his past seven tournaments, he has missed six cuts and withdrew from the Memorial.

"The last couple of months have been really hard," Wagner said. "I just haven't been much fun to be around. It's just been tough. Nobody likes to be bad at what they do, especially golfers."

Wagner chipped in for eagle on the par-5 12th, then finished with six straight pars.

"I've been disappointed with 76s and 79s the last month, so I'm very happy to be disappointed with a 62 today," said Wagner, who shaved his well-talked-about mustache in a nod to his wife for their seventh wedding anniversary Monday. "I didn't get her a gift. So I thought maybe surprising her with a clean lip would suffice," he said.

Phil Mickelson, playing for the first time since finishing second to Justin Rose at the U.S. Open last month, struggled to 74. His tee shot on the par-5 17th landed in Howard's Creek, and he three-putted for triple bogey. He also had five bogeys and four birdies.

"I don't play this course well," Mickelson said.

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