Bertsch weathers tough conditions
Shane Bertsch shot a 10-under-par 62 in windy desert conditions to take the first-round lead at the Bob Hope Classic.
Shane Bertsch shot a 10-under-par 62 in windy desert conditions to take the first-round lead at the 90-hole Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs, California.
Played over five rounds of stroke play in a pro-am format with a professional partnering amateur teams of three on four different par-72 courses, the event is an annual oddity on the PGA Tour and there was some equally quirky weather on the opening day in the Coachella Valley.
As the sunshine disappeared, temperatures dropped and the wind got up, American Bertsch was not disturbed by the changes as his round progressed as he posted a bogey-free, 10-birdie round at the 6,868-yard Nicklaus course at PGA West.
That was enough to give Bertsch a two-stroke lead over compatriots Alex Prugh and Jeff Quinney, who played the same course, the shortest of the four in play this week.
Prugh and Quinney stand one shot ahead of an American quartet featuring tour veteran J P Hayes, whose 65 came on the Palmer course at PGA West, as did Joe Ogilvie’s, Garrett Willis (Nicklaus course) and George McNeill (La Quinta).
Heath Slocum, last year’s Barclays winner during the FedEx Cup play-offs, posted a 66 at Palmer to form part of a six-way tie for eighth place.
Canada’s Mike Weir was the highest placed non-American on five under par following his 67 at Palmer.
“There are usually good conditions and you can work on your game but it was a bit of a battle out there today,” former Masters champion Weir told the Golf Channel.
“It was different. The wind was pretty consistent on the front nine but on the back nine it was really bouncing around.”
Defending champion Pat Perez got his defence up and running with a 68 while Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik, the 2000 Bob Hope Classic champion and 2006 joint runner-up, was along with Norway’s Henrik Bjornstad carded the same score for the lowest European rounds of the day.
England’s Justin Rose, Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson and Germany’s Alex Cejka shot two-under-par 70s while Englishman Brian Davis and Scotland’s Martin Laird ended their days one over par.
The 7 most popular golf brands in 2023 according to Google search data
These seven brands draw loads of online attention from golfers.
Five of the best putters for high handicappers to keep their scores down
What putters should high-handicappers use?
WATCH: Tiger Woods’ best shots at the Hero World Challenge as legend returns
Tiger Woods has done some incredible things at the Hero World Challenge.
What’s in the bag for Tiger Woods on his PGA Tour return?
Tiger Woods bag for the Hero World Challenge is one drawing a great deal of interest.
Can you name every player to have won a golf major since 2000?
Can you name every single male golfer to win a Major in the 21st century?
9 outstanding pieces of Sam Snead advice for every golfer to follow
Sam Snead’s wisdom rings true.
The ten golf balls that fly longest in robot testing
The longest balls available to golfers commercially have been revealed in new research.
The best public courses in North Carolina featuring 3 of the Pinehurst 9
The best public courses in North Carolina.
Here are 3 things you can do to combat wayward trailing elbow position
These three drills will help get your elbow in place to drive your club through the ball efficiently.
What was is Cameron Smith’s bag for the Australian PGA?
What’s in Cam Smith’s bag?