GREENSBORO, N.C. – Chris Stroud doesn’t want any rust in his game for the PGA Tour’s playoffs. Ross Fisher just wants to make it that far.
Stroud and Fisher each shot 6-under-par 64 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Wyndham Championship.
Eight players – defending champion Sergio Garcia, Matt Jones, Robert Garrigus, Jordan Spieth, Trevor Immelman, Morgan Hoffman, Patrick Reed and Andrew Svoboda – shot 65.
John Senden and Stuart Appleby were among the five players at 66 at the final tournament before golf’s postseason begins next week.
It was the highest score for an opening-round leader since the tournament returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008.
Stroud had eight birdies during his best round of the year, which came at the Donald Ross-designed course that had vexed him through the previous five years.
“I’ve even told people I love this golf course,” Stroud said. “I have no idea why I don’t play well here.”
Stroud could’ve easily skipped this week and rested up for the playoffs. He arrived at No. 48 on the points list and – unlike so many other players here this week – is assured of a spot in the playoff field.
U.S. Amateur: At Brookline, Mass., qualifying medalists Neil Raymond and Brady Watt each won two matches Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals at The Country Club.
Raymond, trying to become the first English winner since 1911, beat Zachary Olsen of Cordova, Tenn., 2 and 1, in the morning and edged Australia’s Nathan Holman, 1 up, in the afternoon. Watt, from Australia, topped Seth Reeves of Duluth, Ga., 3 and 2, in the morning and beat Canada’s Charlie Hughes, 2 and 1, in the afternoon.
On Friday, Raymond will face Canada’s Corey Conners, a 5-and-3 winner over Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind.
In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Adam Ball of Richmond, Va., will meet England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, from Northwestern, and Raymond give England 25 percent of the quarterfinals as they bid for the country’s first win in this tournament in more than a century
In the lower-bracket quarterfinals, Watt will face 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, the youngest player in the quarterfinals; and Australia’s Oliver Goss will meet Brandon Matthews of Dupont, Pa.