WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS —
As the conditions were firming up on the Old White TPC, thunderstorms rolled through the Greenbrier Valley Wednesday evening and softened the course just in time for the first round of the Greenbrier Classic Thursday.
The morning wave took full advantage of the ripe conditions by taking up the majority of the leaderboard. However, those conditions changed by the afternoon.
“A little softer than (Wednesday), just with the storm that came through last night,” said Chris Kirk who is seventh in the FedEx Cup standings coming into the event. “But the course held up great. The greens were absolutely perfect.
“They were really receptive. So that’s why you’re seeing the good scores.”
The perfect conditions produced the leader in defending champion Jonas Blixt.
Blixt had eight birdies and two bogies to finish with a six-under 64.
Six of the eight players tied for second were from the morning wave. Only Danny Lee and Jim Renner were able to card five-under 65s from the afternoon pairings.
“I mean the wind was swirling a little bit so you had to gauge that and sometime you get lucky and sometimes you get unlucky,” Renner said. “For the most part, I was on the right side of that. I was just able to roll some putts in.”
There were still good rounds to be had in the afternoon.
In addition to Lee and Renner, several players were able to get to four-under par and many more at three-under par.
Keegan Bradley had four birdies and a bogey in route to a three-under 67 to be in a tie for 18th.
“Definitely was kind of challenge out there,” Bradley said. “The wind was, I don’t know if I’ve ever played where the wind was all over the place like it was today. So I’m really happy with the way I played.”
A total of 70 players finished under par in the first round.
“For the most part, it played a lot tougher [Thursday] afternoon,” Bubba Watson said. “Hopefully, it does the same thing tomorrow so we can move up the leaderboard.
Watson will be part of the morning wave Friday as tee times start at 7 a.m.
Weather conditions should be great for the second round with a high near 72 and the day being mostly sunny.
— Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jmgreene516