While you were sleeping, the PGA Tour conducted the first round of its first ever official FedExCup event in Asia. And the low scores we've seen through the first two weeks of this new wraparound slate continued, with the streaky Ryan Moore charging to the lead at 9-under on a round of 63. The pros were playing lift, clean and place on the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club layout, and with reachable par-5s dotting the scorecard, it was a relatively easy 18-hole loop.
Moore, who had one of the best amateur careers in golf history, is always capable of lighting up a scoreboard and has carded many rounds in the low 60s on Tour. Amazingly, the Vegas product canned birdies on all four par-3s late last night on his way to the two-shot lead over Keegan Bradley.
This is a smaller, but more talented, field than the first two fall events and the Tour has to be happy that both Bradley and Sergio Garcia are inside the top 10 at the start. Garcia is not the most popular player in the States, but he does have worldwide appeal and aside from Phil Mickelson, is probably the biggest name in the field. He went bogey free in his opening round, and rolled in six birdies to get to 6-under.
Mickelson was a mess late Wednesday night, hitting the ball all over the yard with his driver. At one point, he hit four drives in a two-hole stretch thanks to a couple bombs off the course that required provisionals. After the round, he admitted it was the worst he'd swung the club in a long time.
Phil: "I can't remember swinging this bad in a long time. I'm not sure if the ball is going to go dead left or snap hook right."— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 24, 2013
Phil: "I'm trying something different on every swing. It's way off right now. It's as far off as it's ever been."— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 24, 2013
Even will the mess he made on multiple holes in the first round, he's still in the red with a 1-under round of 71. But that puts him a long way back of Moore, who drilled 10 birdies in his opening 18. It's unlikely they play lift, clean and place again so that could be the best scoring day of the week for Mickelson. He still has 54 holes to make it up, but the way he's searching for his swing doesn't give you much confidence that he'll be in it in down the stretch in Malayasia.
Here's the full leaderboard from the opening round
|T12||Charles Howell III||-3|
|T16||Richard H. Lee||-2|
|T30||Bo Van Pelt||E|
|T30||Brendon de Jonge||E|