Humana Challenge. Michael Putnam Leads.

White Dragon GolfHumana Challenge

Michael Putnam leads the Humana Challenge at the end of the first days play.

Humana Challenge

Michael Putnam / Getty Images

Michael shot a first round -9 under par 63, on  PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Private Course, in the Humana Challenge tournament.

Ideal conditions prevailed in the Coachella Valley and Michael carded ten birdies, six of them consecutively, from twelve through seventeen. He made all the putts he needed to;

“The course is in perfect shape, greens are good.  I made a lot of birdies at the end.”

“Hit a lot of close shots, a lot of 5-, 10-foot putts. I made them all, so I got to be happy about that.”

“The focus for me is on the Palmer (Friday) and then La Quinta on Saturday. There’s a lot of birdies going to be made in 54 holes by a lot of guys. So I have to make a lot of birdies.”

Five players are tied in second place, at -8 under par; Mark Wilson, Blake Adams, John Peterson, Francesco Molinari and Scott Pinckney.

Mark and John played the Nicklaus course, Blake and Francesco were on the Arnold Palmer course while Scott was on the La Quinta Course.

Mark was happy with his overall display;

“I came in feeling OK, nothing great about the game, but it was ideal today.”

“I made some saves when I needed it and capitalized on my good shots.”

Blake made his first start in his comeback from hip replacement surgery, and said he felt blessed just to be back playing again;

“Very, very blessed to be back out here.”

“It’s been a long road to get back. You never know what you’re going to get when you have total hip replacement.”

“If the putts fall, great, if they don’t, so be it, I had a great day today.”

“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and do my best and if I shoot 64 again, great. If I shoot 74, so be it.”

There is a long way to go on this three course challenge, so it is difficult to get too excited about the scores today, things will eventually even themselves out.

Phil Mickelson played his first serious golf since the Ryder Cup fall-out, and was happy with his -1 under par 71 round at La Quinta;

“It was the first round in four months and I’ll loosen up. My body hasn’t felt this good in years.”

“Hopefully, the way I’m playing will show in the score. But today, it just didn’t.”

“I can’t wait to get started again, because I just feel like I played a little tight today, kind of steered it a little bit.”

 

 

 

 

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