Charlie Hoffman calmed the Texas wind-tunnel at the Texas Valero Open, taking him all the way to the summit of the leaderboard.
Charley Hoffman / Getty Images
Charley shot a bogey free wind-swept Valero Texas Open first round -5 under par 67, to sit on top of the leaderboard.
The early morning starters faced wind gusts around 40 mph, while Charlie contended with a steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC San Antonio.
When almost 22 percent of the field (31 of 141) shoots 80 or higher, you know it is a bad day. So bad that Martin Kaymer carded +10 over par 82, and he was not the worst, the worst professional score today was +16 over par.
Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -4 under par. On the driveable par-4 17th hole he decided to hit a cut driver, instead of going all out with a fairway wood and then watched in horror as the ball disappeared into the woods. He took three off the tee and holed out for an unlikely birdie;
“I was thinking of gripping a 3-wood or hit a cut driver, and I don’t know, I went with the cut driver and hit a pulled draw in the middle of the trees.”
“I just thought I’d just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts, I was like, wait, I just made birdie.”
“I played really nice for the majority of the day. I just said to myself it was the wrong shot. Hit a straight one. It was straight downwind, get it going straight, it will go straight.”
“So I hit the second one and said, man, why didn’t I do that the first time? And it rolls up and goes in.”
“I knew it was going to be blowing, I saw the forecast, it was going to die down just a little bit.”
“So even going to bed last night I already had the mindset. I just had to be patient, whether you got off to a good start or a bad start. So I think days like today the mindset is the most important.”
Max Homa is in third place at -3 under par for the tournament, one ahead of Ryan Palmer and Phil Mickelson.
In a very strange occurrence, while hitting a shot from the fairway bunker, the head on Phil’s Callaway X-Forged ’13 8-iron flew off, leaving him with just the shaft in his hands;
“Yeah, it was weird, the shaft broke just above the hosel, it was just a weird thing. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess. You hit enough shots it’s going to work out.”
“I’m just curious at what point on the downswing it came off, if it was right before impact or right at impact, because the shot didn’t come off very well.”
“I would have used it the next three holes, I had to feather a 7-iron all three times.”
Phil and broken club / Getty Images