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Boosted by a chip-in eagle on his back nine, Maximillian Kieffer served up a 4-under-par 35-33=68 in round two of the BMW PGA Championship, posting the halfway lead of 6-under 136.

That's currently good enough for a one-shot advantage in the clubhouse although Thomas Pieters is at 7-under with a hole to play. Kieffer, who opened with a 70, made a sluggish start today with bogeys at Nos. 1 and 2 dropping him right back into the pack on even par. But he got those shots back with circles at 6 and 8 and then got hot on Wentworth's back nine. After sinking a birdie putt at 11, he chipped in from just off the green at 12 for eagle-3. The golden stretch continued with red numbers at 13 and 14 before he cooled at the end with a bogey and three pars. Kieffer has cashed just once in four previous starts at Wentworth (also T27 in 2015) while he'd missed three of his last four cuts on the European Tour so his performance so far has slightly come from left field.
May 26 - 7:42 AM

Colonial Country Club course horse Zach Johnson led off his week at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational with a 3-under-par 34-33=67, placing him two strokes off the lead at the top.

ZJ teed off during the worst of the weather today, which may explain a bit of his ball-striking woes. He split just four (of 14) fairways and found just nine greens in regulation. He also went nine straight holes (Nos. 7 thru 15) without giving himself a birdie look from inside 25 feet. Despite all that, he swallowed just one bogey and circled four birdies, including a three-hole train to close his day with some momentum. With two wins already on his DDI resume, Johnson will be fully focused when he returns for a Friday morning tee time. His last win came at the 2015 Open Championship, but this week's venue presents a nice opportunity for Johnson to jump back into the mix.
May 25 - 7:26 PM

Seung-Yul Noh carded a 6-over-par 37-39=76 before withdrawing from the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. There is no injury cited at the time.

Noh split just five (of 14) fairways today and landed just half of the greens in regulation. To make matters worse, he missed five putts from inside eight feet, two of them from inside four feet. That led to a -1.68 strokes gained putting total next to his name. He chose to finish the round but withdrew shortly after. There was no injury cited at the time of WD, but we will update if any further news gets passed along.
May 25 - 6:46 PM

Dallas resident Kelly Kraft cruised to a bogey-free, 5-under-par 32-33=65 during round one of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, staking out an early claim of the clubhouse lead, sharing that title with Derek Fathauer and J.T. Poston.

Playing in a home game this week, Kraft kicked off the week with a 5-birdie effort, highlighted by a hot putter. Throughout the day he sank three putts from outside 15 feet, including a 39'11" birdie bomb at the par-3 16th. Kraft would walk off the course gaining 2.79 strokes putting over the field. All of those chances were setup by steady striking, giving himself 10 birdie looks from inside 20 feet today. That kept the round relatively stress-free, despite the blustery conditions he had to play through. Kraft is making his 51st start on the PGA TOUR and this will go in the books as his first lead/co-lead after ANY round.
May 25 - 6:40 PM

J.T. Poston breezed through Colonial Country Club in round one of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, recording a 5-under-par 32-33=65 to grab a share of the clubhouse lead alongside Derek Fathauer and Kelly Kraft.

Poston had a rough time at last week's AT&T Byron Nelson, posting rounds of 78-72=150 (+10) to easily miss the cut after earning a paycheck in nine straight starts before that. He didn't let that result keep him down for long, and hit the reset button to clear that from his mind. Today's bounce back involved some stellar ball-striking to smother 15 greens in regulation, gaining 4.515 strokes approach-the-green. Highlights on the green included a pair of splashes from 11-to-14 feet but most of his damage was done from short range, thanks to that strong iron and wedge play. Playing his 19th career event, this will be his first lead/co-lead after ANY round.
May 25 - 6:30 PM

Sean O'Hair kicked off his week at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational with a steady 3-under-par 33-34=67, staking out an early spot inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.

The Texan opened his day on the back nine and got his scoring started with a 19-footer for birdie at the par-4 10th. That would be his first of two birdie putts splashed in from outside 15 feet. However, it was a love-hate relationship with his flat stick today since his only two blemishes came on missed putts from 6'6" and 3'0". This matches his first-round score from last year where he'd eventually go on to shoot 72-69-71 to finish at 1-under, good for T34. In eight visits to Colonial Country Club, the highlight is a T16 for O'Hair back in 2011.
May 25 - 5:39 PM

Nick Watney smoothed a 3-under-par 31-36=67 during round one of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, throwing his name into the mix early on Thursday.

Watney was dialed in with his irons and wedges today, pelting 14 greens in regulation, gaining 2.031 strokes approaching-the-green along the way. Most of the action took place early in the round, as he gave himself five birdie looks from inside 17 feet on the day, and all of them came before the turn. Perhaps it was the wind picking up that made it tougher, or maybe he just slowed his pace. Either way, Watney is now positioned nicely after day one as he makes his first appearance at Colonial Country Club since 2014. He is 2-for-5 here with a T27 in 2010 being the highlight.
May 25 - 5:29 PM

Alex Noren crafted a 4-under-par 32-36=68 to end the first round of the BMW PGA Championship T5, two shots behind his compatriot Johan Carlsson.

The lap is the best the Swede has managed on Thursday at the European Tour's flagship tournament, bettering the 69s he carded in 2009, 2010 and 2016. He smoothed his way to the turn, ticking birdies at 3, 5 and 6. The back nine began with a bogey-birdie-bogey run at 10, 11 and 12 before he closed the scoring down with a birdie-3 at the 491-yard par-4 15th. On his 11th appearance he is chasing his first top five finish.
May 25 - 3:10 PM

Branden Grace carded a 4-under-par 31-37=68 in round one of the BMW PGA Championship, but had to defend himself after earning a beneficial ruling on the West Course.

The South African, who has never missed the cut at Wentworth, made four front nine birdies at 1, 4, 5 and 9, to which he then added an ealge-3 at the 520-yard par-5 12th. But with his approach to the 13th buried deep in the bunker he took a stance and his feet were touching the material beneath the sand. "I couldn't really get the grip and kept on slipping," he said, "so knowing what happened in the past I asked the official. Fortunately for me, it worked out this time." He blasted out but missed the par putt. He also dropped a shot at the 16th to lose a share of the lead and then discover his ruling was causing plenty of discussion on social media. He heads into the second round in a tie for fifth.
May 25 - 3:04 PM

Henrik Stenson fired a superb back nine on the West Course to end round one at 4-under-par 35-33=68, good for T5 and two back of the lead in the BMW PGA Championship.

It was just the Swede's fifth sub-70 round at Wentworth in 39 attempts and exactly mirrors the number he opened his last appearance with, when T7 in 2014. On the front nine he scratched nine straight pars before he ticked 11, 12, 15 and 18 on the way home. He has a solid record on Fridays in his most recent visits to the course, going sub-par on the last four occasions. It leaves him two swings back of fellow countryman Johan Carlsson.
May 25 - 2:56 PM

Two-time champ Phil Mickelson opened his week at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational with a 3-under-par 32-35=67, just two strokes off the early pace set by Derek Fathauer.

The Hall of Famer has won twice at Colonial Country Club, but hasn't made a start here since 2010 when he missed the cut (71-73=144). It seems a little time away from the course served him well as he traded six birdies with three bogeys today while battling typical Texas winds. First first five birdies were converted from inside nine feet but he saved the best for last as he drained a 32'10" birdie bomb at the par-4 ninth to walk off in style. As strong as this opening round was, Mickelson also missed three birdie chances from inside 15 feet, so there is still room for improvement as the ASU alum searches for his third victory on this Texas track.
May 25 - 2:53 PM

Kevin Kisner tackled Colonial Country Club with a 3-under-par 32-35=67 to open his week strong at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

The Georgia Bulldog used steady ball-striking to land 15 greens in regulation today, but it was his flat stick that did the scoring. He splashed home par-saving putts from 22'4" and 17'0" but that was just the start. He also sank birdie bombs from 36'5" and 47'11" at the 2nd and 7th holes, respectively. Kisner would walk off Colonial CC with 3.98 strokes gained putting over the field. With finishes of T5 and T10 in his last two trips here, most gamers are probably not surprised by this fast start.
May 25 - 2:33 PM

Ryan Moore grinded out a 3-under-par 32-35=67 during round one of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, finding himself two strokes off the early pace set by Derek Fathauer.

Moore entered the week fresh off a missed cut in nearby Irving, Texas (AT&T Byron Nelson). He rebounded nicely today and has his flat stick to thank for that. Moore converted five putts from outside 10 feet today, including a par-saver from 21'11" at the 13th. He walked off the course gaining 4.321 strokes putting on the day. Making his eighth appearance at Colonial Country Club, this ties the low opening lap here for Moore. That same year he fired a 3-under 67 in round one (2012) he went on to finish T26, his personal best here at the DEAN & DELUCA.
May 25 - 2:15 PM

Making his tournament debut at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, Jon Rahm fired a 4-under-par 34-32=66 during round one to throw his name into contention early in the week.

Rahm didn't have the best ball-striking day by traditional metrics (8-of-14 fairways, 12 GIR) but he gained 1.568 strokes off-the-tee and another 2.140 strokes approaching-the-green, proving that traditional stats don't always tell the whole story. Four of his five birdie circles came on putts from inside five feet while the last one came at the par-4 sixth from 36'9". That was immediately following a 9'11" par-saver and 7' bogey-save at the par-3 fourth and par-4 fifth holes, respectively. Rahm is continuing to prove course experience is not a big factor for him, as he finds himself inside the top 10 after R1 for the fourth time in his last six stroke-play events.
May 25 - 1:51 PM

Grame McDowell coasted to a bogey-free, 4-under-par 33-33=66 during the opening round of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, staking out a spot one stroke off the early lead on Thursday with play still in progress.

The Northern Irishman steadied 10 (of 14) fairways en route to 11 greens in regulation. Three of his four birdies came from long distance, two on converted putts from the 17-to-21 foot range with the other coming on a hole out from 36'3" at the par-3 fourth hole. It wasn't all smooth sailing for the Ulsterman, though, as he needed to save par twice from outside nine feet to maintain the momentum. Opting to make his tournament debut here instead of traveling to take on a renovated Wentworth, McDowell looks to have made the right decision early on the in the week.
May 25 - 1:36 PM


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