Terrific Thursday in the books here in Boston. Challenging but scoreable conditions, a tight leaderboard with 55 guys within 5 shots of the lead, and plenty of winners and losers. Let's not waste any time here, let's dive right on in.
This is an easy one. Adam Hadwin, the solo leader with an opening round 66. For those who don't know who Hadwin is, he's just about the most middle of the road guy on the PGA Tour I can think of. He's the Chad Pennington of golfers. Absolutely nothing remarkable about the guy, but he'll show up every once in a while and remind you that he's there.
The Canadian actually had to go through qualifying to make it into this tournament, and only advanced as the first alternate from his qualifier. Now he's on top of the leaderboard. If it wasn't clear enough by then that the day belonged to him, look no further than the kick he got off the sprinkler head on 18 to pick up an extra 75 yards
As I wrote about below…
There's a mish mosh of names at -2, but DJ is the biggest of them. He put the LIV squad on his back today.
I really thought there was a chance DJ had gone full mail-time after winning his Masters and getting that LIV dough. I suppose that might still be true, but he showed some serious signs of life today. He's one of those handful of guys where if he's playing his A game, everybody else just packs it in. We haven't really seen that DJ since Augusta in November 2020, but this is the closest thing we've seen. Surprisingly, it was his putter that got hot today. Nobody took fewer than his 24 putts today. Putters can run hot and cold, so we'll see if he can keep it up.
Matt Fitzpatrick - 2013 US Amateur champ here at TCC carded a 68.
JT/Morikawa/Rahm - Huge names all lurking at -1
Nike - Nike has taken a lot of big swings at majors recently and missed a lot. I thought Rory and Finau especially looked pretty sharp today though.
As I wrote about here…
Holy shit man. NBC had us working overtime flipping stations to try to track down the coverage today. The only thumbs more worn out than mine are Phil's giving all those thumbs up. Is it that complicated to just stick it on USA all day and maybe pop it on NBC for a primetime window? And aren't Golf Channel and NBC one in the same? Why are we not using that?
Another thing… I happen to have received a Peacock Premium code by way of the NBC GolfPass subscription that I signed up for 4 years ago and keep forgetting to cancel. So I have Peacock Premium. Why the FUCK am I drowning in commercials using a "Premium" subscription? I woke up eager to watch golf bright and early and found myself watching Joe Namath selling me reverse mortgages at 7 AM. The commercials thing make no sense to me. I can handle a few here and there, but they were relentless today both on and off the "premium" coverage.
Lastly, one good thing I was hoping would have come from LIV Golf's premiere last week was an emphasis on showing more GOLF. They showed a fuckload of it last week during their broadcast. I was hoping NBC had taken notes. Nope.
NBC and CBS are both extremely guilty and have been for years for inundating us with all kinds of nonsense during broadcasts that isn't golf. I really don't need to hear about Francis Ouimet's house for the 15th time this week. I don't need to hear from the USGA president for the 3rd time this week to talk about LIV either. I know it's the end of days with this whole LIV thing. I know it's a hot topic. I know it's controversial. We can spend every Monday thru Wednesday talking about it until we're red in the face, but when it's Thursday of a major, let's focus on the task at hand. And that task is GOLF. Show more of it @NBC.
Okay this flies a bit in the face of what I just said, but outside of DJ (and I guess James Piot at -1) it was a tough day for those guys. Reed (E) and DeChambeau (+1) both played decent, but it was tough sledding for the guys who actually played in London last week. Louis Oosthuizen only beat Phil by one stroke, Kevin Na flamed out after a hot start to shoot 75, Sergio and Talor Gooch each shot 74… all of them have an extremely uphill battle to make the weekend, as the cut would be at +2 if it were made today. I dunno if it was the travel, the rust of not having played as much golf, or what but if these guys want to be taken seriously years down the road, the majors might be their only chance to show it. And if they're playing like this, the quality of golf on that Tour is going to be mocked incessantly. Something to keep an eye on as this whole thing develops.
Jon Rahm and his golf ball - As my colleague Matt Fitzgerald wrote about HERE.
Jordan Spieth's dinner last night - Battled a stomach bug overnight and almost withdrew
My last second Rikuya Hoshino action - Which I regret immensely.
The Celtics tonight, probably - This is my blog and I'll bury the Celts if I want to
And that's it. Day 1 in the books. Tomorrow we see guys grind to make the weekend. Gonna be a good one.