Driscoll fires 63 for Puerto Rico lead
James Driscoll looked set to shoot a rare 59 as he charged into a two-shot lead in round one of the Puerto Rico Open.
James Driscoll looked set to shoot a rare 59 as he charged into a two-shot lead in round one of the Puerto Rico Open on Thursday.
But as is so often the case in these situations, it wasn’t to be
Driscoll found himself a whopping 11-under par after just 14 holes of his opening round and needed only two more birdies on the par 72 layout at the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande to shoot 59.
But, having teed at the 10th, the American stumbled with bogeys at the par four seventh and the par three eighth and had to settle for a 63 that matched the course record set by Derek Lamely in the third round of his victory last year.
It also gave Driscoll a two-shot lead over fellow countryman Will MacKenzie.
“I was 11 under with three to play, so I mean anything could have happened,” Driscoll said afterwards.
“If I birdied all three holes or two of them, I could have shot in the 50s, but they were tough holes.
“The seventh hole is a pretty tough hole. I hit a good shot, made bogey, unfortunately kind of got a bad kick, but then the eighth hole I hit it solid, but I pulled it in the hazard and made bogey there too. So with three holes to go, definitely could have been lower, but I got a few lucky breaks out there, too, so I’m not really looking back thinking that it should have been a lot lower. But it could have been.”
Driscoll made his charge with seven consecutive birdies (15, 16, 17, 18, 1, 2 and 3) and also eagled the par five fifth. He needed just 24 putts in his round.
Second-placed MacKenzie had no bogeys on his card when he signed for his 65 and is one clear of a trio which includes two-time major winner Angel Cabrera.
The Argentine, who won the 2007 US Open and 2009 Masters, but has yet to win a regular PGA Tour event, was also bogey-free during his 66 and is six-under alongside Americans Brendan Steele and Omar Uresti.
Of the other big names in the field, 2009 Open champ Stewart Cink is in tied 20th after a three-under 69 but former Ryder Cup star Henrik Stenson continues to styruggle with his game and is in danger of missing the cut after he could only post a three-over 75.
John Daly had his usual rollercoaster round which eventually added up to a decent two-under 70.
The double major champion had an eagle, five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey and sits tied 35th with 54 holes to go.
England’s Oliver Wilson struggled off the tee and shot level par after two bogeys and two birdies.
Two other leading names failed to complete their rounds.
Former Masters champion Mike Weir pulled out after injuring his wrist (he had shot 41 on the front side) while American Boo Weekley was five over after 12 holes when he retired, citing a hand injury.
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