Andrew Landry and J.J. Spaun opened with matching bogey-free 63s to share the lead after 18 holes of the 2018 Quicken Loans National.
Landry, with a morning tee time, was the first to reach the clubhouse with a low-round 63. The 30-year old Texan finished his first round at TPC Potomac with seven birdies, highlighted by four in his first six holes (Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 15) and two more down the stretch (Nos. 6 and 8).
“Played really well today. Hit my irons really well and that was kind of the key, key of the whole entire day,” said Landry, who won his maiden title earlier this season at the Valero Texas Open.
“Just leaving myself opportunities. I’ve been struggling a little bit with my irons and the driver’s been hit or miss and I didn’t drive it as well as I wanted to today, but it was a good start.”
Spaun, meanwhile, was just 1 under through seven holes. But starting on No. 8, Spaun reeled off six birdies in a nine-hole stretch, highlighted by three-straight at the turn (Nos. 8, 9 and 10), and three more on Nos. 13, 14, and 16.
“Played really solid today apparently. Just kind of kept the ball in front of me, didn’t make a lot of mistakes really,” said Spaun.
“I mean, I think I missed four greens but they were in good places, just on the fringe or just barely off the green, so didn’t really have to grind too hard out there.
“I was making a lot of good putts from mid range that I normally haven’t been making. I felt a lot more comfortable over my putter as of late and it’s kind of nice to hit a lot of greens, hit a lot of fairways and see some more putts go in and that’s kind of what has been keeping me from going really low.
“So I feel like that’s kind of what happened today and ready to kind of keep the momentum going into tomorrow.”
One further back at 6-under par was Andrew Putnam and Billy Horschel, who sit T3 after each posted first-round 64s.
Putnam signed for a clean card while Horschel carded a single bogey against seven birdies.
Abraham Ancer made eagle on the par-5 10th en route to a 5-under 65. The young Mexican shares fifth place with Beau Hossler, whose round was highlighted by four-straight birdies on Nos. 13-16 (his 4th-7th holes).
A logjam of 11 players sit T10 at 4-under par, headlined by the second and third highest ranked players in the field: Italian Francesco Molinari and Aussie Marc Leishman, respectively.
The tournament’s headliners, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods, shot even-par 70 and sit T48.
THE TOP 10
1. Andrew Landry -7
1. J.J. Spaun -7
3. Billy Horschel -6
3. Andrew Putnam -6
5. Abraham Ancer -5
5. Beau Hossler -5
7. Ryan Armour -4
7. Seamus Power -4
7. Joel Dahmen -4
10. (11) Players Tied -3
10. Francesco Molinari -3
10. Marc Leishman -3
21. Stewart Cink -2
21. Joaquin Niemann -2
33. Billy Hurley III -1
33. Gary Woodland -1
48. Charles Howell III E
48. Rickie Fowler E
48. Tiger Woods E
48. Kiradech Aphibarnrat E
48. Siwoo Kim E
68. Kyle Stanley +1
102. J.B. Holmes +3
112. Jimmy Walker +4
1. Lanto Griffin – 333.7 (T21)
2. Nick Watney – 328.4 (T33)
3. Tom Lovelady – 327.4 (T68)
1. J.J. Spaun – 12/14, 85.7% (T1)
1. Billy Horschel – 12/14, 85.7% (T3)
1. Brian Gay – 12/14, 85.7% (T10)
1. Billy Horschel – 17/18, 94.4% (T3)
2. Andrew Landry – 15/18, 83.3% (T1)
2. Beau Hossler – 15/18, 83.3% (T5)
VIDEO: FIRST-ROUND HIGHLIGHTS
“I felt really good, I’ve been chipping the ball well and putting the ball. I went to a new putter this week and been putting the ball well and I’ve been driving the ball well, I just haven’t ironed it will. I’ve been working really hard the last few days on my ball-striking with my irons and it’s just been coming around, it’s just getting better and better, so I’m looking forward to some good stuff.”
– Andrew Landry
“I was making a lot of good putts from mid range that I normally haven’t been making. I felt a lot more comfortable over my putter as of late and it’s kind of nice to hit a lot of greens, hit a lot of fairways and see some more putts go in and that’s kind of what has been keeping me from going really low. So I feel like that’s kind of what happened today and ready to kind of keep the momentum going into tomorrow.”
– J.J. Spaun