Kent Bulle began his fourth career Web.com Tour round with an 8-under-par 31-32=63 in the first round of the Winco Foods Portland Open to share the lead with Matt Fast.
Bulle bagged seven birdies and an eagle to just one bogey on his lap around Witch Hollow at Pumpkin Ridge. While he found a modest 13 GIR, he managed to roll the rock to a 1.462 average. He enters the week 174th on the money list, with just two starts on the season, but stands a chance at earning a PGA TOUR card at week's end should he go on to win.
Matt Fast crafted a bogey-free 8-under-par 31-32=63 in the first round of the inaugural Winco Foods Portland Open to share the lead with Kent Bulle.
Fast began his day on the 10th hole, and snared four birdies on each nine at Witch Hollow at Pumpkin Ridge. The ball-striking was excellent, splitting 11 of 13 fairways and landing 16 GIR. This is the second consecutive week he's held a share of the 18-hole lead. He eventually settled for a share of 30th last week at the News Sentinel Open.
Paul Casey twirled a bogey-free, 5-under-par 33-33=66 in his opening round of The Barclays, finishing one stroke off the overnight lead.
Of the 125 that qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs, Casey started the season with the worst status. However, despite playing from the Past Champions category, he returned to the season-ending series for the first time since 2010 and ranked 118th in points. He was the eight and final golfer to submit a 66 today, the last five coming from the afternoon wave. He split 10 (of 14) fairways and missed only two greens in regulation at Ridgewood. His par breakers consisted of five birdies, four of which from outside 12 feet. The longest measured 24'2" at the par-3 15th hole. His strokes gained-putting went in the books as 2.462.
Danny Lee enjoyed a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in his opening round of The Barclays and finished two strokes off the overnight lead.
Lee rolled into Ridgewood Country Club at 116th in the FedExCup standings, so we were set to get a read on his grit with nothing to lose. Well, we got a good one. He split only six (of 14) fairways and hit just 10 greens in regulation, but limited the damage to a lone bogey at the par-4 seventh hole. Along the way, he picked up five birdies, including a five-yarder from the fringe at the par-4 16th hole. Lee opened his walk at the 10th hole and promptly poured in a par save from 28'1" at the par 3. Each of his next three conversions rolled longer than 10 feet, including yet another par save, this time from 16'3" at 12. At the time he concluded his round, his strokes gained-putting clip sat at a gaudy 4.336, good for second-highest in the field of 122.
Richard S. Johnson stumbled to a 1-over-par 39-33=72 in his opening round of the WinCo Food Portland Open on the Web.com Tour.
Back in play following a neck injury that forced him to withdraw 10 holes into his second round of the Barracuda Championship three weeks ago, the Swede opened bogey-bogey at Witch Hollow at Pumpkin Ridge today. He birdied the par-4 third, but added bogeys at 7, 9 and 10 to sit 4-over. He's claw back with three birdies against no bogeys or worse, but signed his card sitting seven strokes off the clubhouse lead. Short of a killer rebounded on Friday and on the weekend, he'll venture out for fully exempt status on the 2014-15 PGA TOUR via the Web.com Tour Finals beginning next week in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Bo Van Pelt smoked Ridgewood Country Club for a bogey-free, 6-under-par 32-33=65 in his opening round of The Barclays, good for outright possession of the overnight lead.
BVP sends seven with 66s into the annals as first-round also-rans. He split 10 (of 14) fairways and created 15 opportunities to break par. Quite simply, he performed early and late. He opened birdie-birdie-birdie on the front side, the longest conversion of that set measuring 22'9" at the par-3 second. He then strung together 12 consecutive pars, culminating with a save from 11'6" at the par-3 15th. After landing his second 16 yards from the cup at the par-5 17th, he then holed the chip that curled right to left with perfect speed. Van Pelt has everything to gain this week as he began the FedExCup Playoffs slotted 104th in points. Barring an absolute meltdown on Friday at Ridgewood, he'll be this close to punching his ticket into next week's second leg outside Boston.
Jim Furyk fashioned a 5-under-par 33-33=66 in his opening round of The Barclays, good for a share of the clubhouse lead.
Furyk was the seventh to touch 66 and co-lead. He split 11 (of 14) fairways and hit 13 greens, and swallowed only one bogey. Elsewhere, he drilled home six birdies -- three on each side -- including rolls from 16'6" at the par-3 15th hole and 15'10" at the par-5 17th. Furyk arrived in New Jersey seeded fifth. He's finished outside the top 20 just once in his last 13 starts, a stretch that includes seven top 10s, three of which were solo seconds.
Matt Kuchar submitted a 3-under-par 36-32=68 for his opening round of The Barclays.
Given the detail he provided about how he incurred his back injury, you figured that he'd come out strong today. Well, Kuchar sat 1-over after 12 holes that included a birdie conversion from 19'2" at the par-4 11th. That was due to three bogeys after failing to find the green in regulation at each. However, he roared in with four birdies at two pars. The blitz included three straight beginning at the 15th hole, all from outside -- 24'10" (No. 15), 17'10" (No. 16) and 18'10" (No. 17). He signed his card with a strokes gained-putting clip just south of 1.900 and sitting just two strokes back of the fray atop the leaderboard. This was his first start since a T12 at the WGC-Bridgestone, but look for him every week now as he opened the Playoffs slotted fourth in points on the shoulder of a victory and a TOUR-leading 10 top 10s.