LAS VEGAS: Robert Garrigus, Will MacKenzie, Michael Letzig, John Senden and rookie Cameron Tringale shot 7-under 64s on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, the fourth of five Fall Series events.
George McNeill, Nicholas Thompson, Ryan Palmer, Vaughn Taylor and Martin Flores opened with 65s, and John Daly and Davis Love III topped a group at 66.
Hunter Mahan shot a 67 in his first round since the Ryder Cup, and US teammate Rickie Fowler had a 68.
MacKenzie, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied his first three holes — Nos. 1, 2 and 3—and made up for a bogey on No. 8 with a birdie on the ninth. He birdied Nos. 12-14 and 16 on the back nine.
“I got off to such a great start,” MacKenzie said. “I hit a beautiful 5-iron into 6 or 8 feet and made it (on the par-4 third hole). Of course, I started thinking, It’s about time for me to shoot a real low one.”’
Letzig was 3 under on his last two holes, birdieing the par-3 eighth and closing with an eagle on the par-5 ninth, after playing his first nine holes in 6-under 30.
“Got off to an unbelievable start, 6 under through seven,” Letzig said. “Just fell asleep in the middle of the round, played really sloppy. Missed a couple greens with wedges in my hand and just kind of got mad at myself. (But I) had a great finish. Birdie-eagle saved the round.”
Senden birdied three of his last four holes on the front nine to close out his first round.
“There are half a dozen holes you really feel you have a good chance of birdying them,” Senden said. “And you feel a little bit disappointed when you walk off with a par after hitting the ball well.
“This golf course, if you’re driving the ball well, you can shoot some real low numbers.”
Senden, Garrigus and Tringale shot 4-under 31s on the front nine.
“On a couple of the long putts, where my ball didn’t hit any spike marks, ball marks, the ball rolled right in the hole,” Garrigus said. “It’s also nice to roll a couple in early and get some confidence.
“I left a couple out there. No. 9, I made par because I had to go to the bathroom so bad, I couldn’t even walk. I was walking down the fairway and I was thinking, I really need a restroom right now.’
“But I didn’t know if I was going to be tested or not today. Whenever I go to the bathroom on the golf course, they test me. I was worried about being tested after the round. Once you go to the bathroom on the golf course, it’s going to take me three hours to go to the bathroom again.”