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The TPC Four Seasons was set up for golfers to go low on Thursday morning. Over an inch of rain fell in the Dallas area Wednesday night, leaving the greens soft and giving the players the green light to go for the pins. That, coupled with no win and preferred lies in affect, left the course ripe for the taking in the opening round of the HP Byron Nelson Classic.
That’s exactly what Keegan Bradley did. Going out early in the morning, the Tequesta resident took advantage of the favorable conditions by shooting a course record 60. With a round of 10-under, Bradley tied the tournament record, joining Arron Oberholser and Sam Snead as the only players to ever shoot a 60 at the Byron Nelson Classic. The previous course record at the TPC Four Seasons was a 61 held by four golfers including Justin Leonard and Billy Mayfair.
In addition to breaking the course record, Bradley’s round on Thursday was only the 21st round of 60 since 1983. Unlike the other 20, Bradley is the only player to ever shoot a 60 while carding 2 bogeys in the round.
Teeing off on the back nine, Bradley birdied five of his first seven holes with birdies on 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16. His only hiccup of the round came at the turn. Bradley bogeyed 18 and 1 to drop to 3-under. After birdying the par-3 second, Bradley went on another tear. He went under par on five of his final seven holes including birdies on 4, 5, 8, and 9 and an eagle on the par-5 seventh.
Bradley wasn’t the only one that took advantage of the conditions in the morning. The average score carded in the morning was an under par score of 69.41. Included in that group of low scorers in the morning was Old Palm resident Charl Schwartzel. Schwatrzel shot a bogey free 63 in the opening round and on an average day that would have been good enough for the lead. This was no average day though. On Thursday, the 7-under round was good enough for second, three shots behind Bradley.
Bradley’s round was so big, that it overshadowed the fact that Guan Tianlang was playing in the tournament. The 14 year old from China shot an even round 70 in his hopes of making his third consecutive cut on tour. Tianlang made history by being the youngest person to ever make the cut at the Masters and then followed it up by making the cut at the Zurich Classic. Tianlang will most likely have to go under par on Friday in order to make it third consecutive cut.
Both Bradley and Schwartzel will tee off Friday afternoon when conditions are expected to be more challenging then Thursday morning. Schwartzel will tee off at 1:30pm Eastern time, with Bradley teeing off ten minutes later at 1:40pm.
For a complete leaderboard, including live updates of the HP Byron Nelson Classic, visit www.pgatour.com.