The weather won the day at the first round of The Barclay's. The "Walrus Junior", Kevin Stadler had a breakout round of 64 to lead in the clubhouse as nearly half the field failed to finish.
The inclement weather caused two long delays totaling nearly six hours. But it didn't seem to bother Stadler during his bogey free day. When asked how the delay's affected him, Stadler deadpanned:
"I'm never really mentally prepared. Same as usual. It was all good."
Tiger Woods is in the hunt after a workmanlike 67. After the second delay, Woods seemed to wince noticeably from a stiffening back on several shots on his back nine (he played the back nine first). But it didn't stop him from carding three birdies on that side of the ledger. It has him in a tie for seventh entering day two. And that second day will be a shorter one, where he will tee off late and likely not finish his second round due the number of players who will need to complete their first rounds in the morning.
Henrik Stenson is again in contention after his first round, as he has been in every tournament he's played in the last seven weeks. He joined Ryan Palmer and the surprising Camilo Villegas with rounds of 65, one stroke back of Stadler. Villegas, a three time PGA Tour winner, had to go to Q-School last December to earn his tour card for this year, and hasn't been much of a factor in big tournaments for a couple of years.
Stalwarts Matt Kuchar and Jason Day both carded 66 to stand a couple of strokes back.
PGA Champion Jason Dufner wasn't nearly as sharp as two weeks ago. He was only able to post an even par 71 on the day.
Phil Mickelson, who didn't tee off until 6:35 PM due to the delays, started his round by hitting his opening tee shot into the water hazard on the right side of the first hole. However, he was able to escape with a bogey, and then birdied two holes, including the par five sixth, his final hole of the evening.
He'll join quite a few FedEx cup contenders early in the morning as they try to go low before almost immediately having to go out and start their second rounds in the late morning and early afternoon. They'll tee it up starting at 7:00 AM for what will be a long day at Liberty National.
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