PALM BEACH GARDEN – A pair of PGA Tour rookies, Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan, each opened with 6-under-par 64s to share the first-round lead at the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Bryan, who was in the mix last week at the Genesis Open before finishing tied for fourth, kept up the momentum Thursday morning on the Champion Course at PGA National.
“Just kind of picking up where I left off,” Bryan said. “I was able to get the ball in the fairway with some of the tougher driving holes out there, and set up a couple good birdie opportunities. … The putter was hot and (I was) able to roll a few in.”
Heading into the Honda Classic, Bryan was ranked 96th in the world and Gribble was 197th.
The 26-year-old Bryan has three career wins on the Web.com Tour but has yet to taste victory on the PGA Tour.
Gribble missed the cut in his previous four PGA Tour events after coming in 14th place at the SBS Tournament of Champions. Gribble won the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss., last October, taking home $756,000 for the title.
On Thursday, Gribble hit all 18 greens in regulation, and according to Justin Ray of the Golf Channel, he is the first player in Honda Classic history to do so.
Sitting in second place at 65 after the first round are India’s Anirban Lahiri and Germany’s Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer is playing in his first PGA Tour event since October. He hit 15 of 18 greens and had only one hiccup when he bogeyed the 14th hole.
Seven players — Ben Crane, Sean O’Hair, Ricky Fowler, Ryan Palmer, Canada’s Graham DeLaet, Taiwan’s C.T. Pan and England’s Ian Poulter — share fifth place at 66.
Adam Scott of Australia is defending champion. He is tied for 24th at 68. He salvaged an up-and-down round by birdieing two of his final four holes.
Scott Stallings hit the shot of the day, scoring a hole-in-one on No. 15 with an 8-iron shot from 184 yards. Up until that shot, Stallings was 1 over through 14 holes, but the ace sparked him to finish the round with eagle, birdie, par, birdie to finish at 67, three shots back.
A number of top players, including Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, are sitting out the Honda Classic