Chalmers claims early Quicken Loans National lead
06/26/2014 5:49 PM
06/26/2014 6:34 PM
Bethesda, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Greg Chalmers carded a 5-under 66 on Thursday to claim a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Quicken Loans National.
Chalmers is seeking his first career win on the PGA Tour.
"I played nicely today," Chalmers said. "I did a lot of things right and I'm pleased. I'm very pleased."
Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson shot matching 4-under 67s on the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club to share second place, while defending champion Bill Haas carded a 3-under 68 to sit in a tie for fourth with three other players.
Haas is joined by Patrick Reed, Eric Compton and Tyrone Van Aswegen.
Tiger Woods, returning to competitive action for the first time since undergoing back surgery in March, overcame a rocky start with three birdies over his final six holes to card a 3-over 74 and sit in a tie for 83rd place.
Chalmers started in the morning on the back nine and opened his round with an 8-foot birdie putt.
After parring the next five holes, he poured in a 21-foot birdie putt at the 16th and followed that with another birdie to make the turn at 3-under.
A 3-putt bogey at the second dropped him back to minus-2, but he later closed out his day with three straight birdies from inside 10 feet at the seventh, eighth and ninth to claim the clubhouse lead at 5-under.
"I really drove the ball probably the best I've driven it all year. That was kind of exciting and that kind of set up the rest of the round," said Chalmers. "Finishing with three straight birdies is always nice."
Barnes parred his first five holes before rolling in three straight birdies from the sixth to race to 3-under. That run included a near hole-in-one at the par-3 seventh, where his ball stopped three inches from the cup.
He later converted back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th to reach 5-under, but tripped to a bogey at the 16th to fall back to minus-4 before making par on his final two holes to end there.
Jacobson recorded birdies at the 13th and 17th during an outward 33 to make the turn at 2-under.
He fell back to even par with consecutive bogeys at the first and second, but quickly recovered by capping back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth by holing out from off the front of the green.
He would add birdies at the sixth and eighth to earn his share of second place.
NOTES: Chalmers, who is making his 357th career start on the PGA Tour, holds the first-round lead for the third time in his career ... K.J. Choi (2007) is the only player to convert at least a share of the 18-hole lead into victory at this tournament ... Woods had seven bogeys and four birdies during his opening round.