The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 3, 2014

Logjam at the top after Classic’s first round

Defending champ Blixt still on top a year later

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — Its been nearly 12 months since the conclusion of the 2013 Greenbrier Classic, but the top of the leaderboard still hasn’t changed.

Defending champion Jonas Blixt took advantage of some favorable morning conditions to card a 6-under 64 Wednesday and hold the opening-round lead at a place with which he’s obviously becoming very comfortable.

Blixt started on the back nine and made his biggest move as he approached the turn with birdies on Nos. 16, 17 and 18. He followed that with his fourth straight back on No. 1 to move to 6-under, then kept it even the rest of the way — following a bogey on No. 5 with a birdie on No. 6 — to finish out the best round of the day. He stands one stroke in front of a group of seven golfers tied for second at 5-under.

“If you can go out there and play no wind, it definitely helps,” said Blixt, who played on a soft course after a heavy rain Wednesday afternoon. “You can attack everything, and you don’t really have to consider anything. But I feel like you never really know here.

“The golf course is in perfect shape, like last year. The greenskeeper should get a lot of credit for it. It’s very scorable. The greens are not very hard. You can definitely attack the pins.”

The Greenbrier’s own Bubba Watson didn’t quite get those conditions, struggling with some swirling afternoon winds. But he salvaged a solid round with four birdies over the final nine holes to finish four shots off the lead with a 2-under 68.

"I thought my round was pretty good,” said Watson, who’s sleeping in the bed of his new Greenbrier home this week. “When you look at the conditions, I don’t feel too bad about a couple under par. Hopefully (Friday) I’ll have some better conditions and be able to move up the leaderboard a little more.

“You want to play good at your home course. I just need to make some birdies.”

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