Round 1 Thoughts: The American Express 2020

Heavy hearts this week in the Coachella Valley.

Gone, but never forgotten.

1.) La Quint CC was the easiest course on TOUR last year so something about making hay while the sun shines. Zac Blair sets the pace with 64.

2.) Grayson Murray has had pass successes here (T12, T14) and has laid down his marker after 64 on the Stadium Course. He missed the course record by a shot.

3.) Andrew Landry’s 66 on the South Course should jog some positive memories. He lost in a playoff here to Jon Rahm in 2018.

4.) Tyler Duncan picked up his first victory last fall so that won’t be on his mind as he sits one off the pace with 65 at Nicklaus Tournament.

5.) Roger Sloan led the field in par breakers last year with 29 and finished T12. He’s T6 currently.

6.) Jason Dufner picked up the first title on the Stadium Course when it was introduced as the host venue in 2016. He circled 30 birdies that week and adds five more to start this week with a bogey-free 67. Do NOT look up Dufner’s recent results.

7.) There were a total of FOUR rounds over-par in the top 50 last year. The best finishes with an over-par round were T18.

8.) T53 is 3-under. T13 is 5-under. #ParkingLot.

9.) 54 holes this week before the top 65 teams make the return trip to the Stadium Course.

10.) If you’re playing PGA TOUR Fantasy, there’s no need to have anyone in your lineup at the Stadium Course. Nicklaus Tournament was the second-easiest track on TOUR last year.

11.) No 60 this year from Phil Mickelson at La Quinta. His 70 isn’t the end of the world but the tournament host knows he’ll need a low one tomorrow. And Saturday.

12.) The cut last year was 9-under. That’s right, If you were minus-8 that didn’t work.

13.) Martin Laird made a hole-in-one, his second of the season.

14.) Defending champ Adam Long opened with 69 at La Quinta. Only Johnny Miller, yes that one, has defended the title in 60 previous events.

15.) Brendan Steele is trying to bounce back after being oh-so-close last week. He opened with 70 at La Quinta as well.

16.) Tony Finau cashed solo fifth in Hong Kong last week. He also posted 69 at La Quinta.

17.) Bill Haas, along with Mickelson, are the only multiple winners in the field this week. 68 on La Quinta should help with the mood tomorrow.

18.) Save this, gamers:

 

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