Clark Posts 61, Leads Horschel by 2 in Phoenix

Wyndham Clark, who has yet to win as a pro, was the best golfer on the first day of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Clark, who has missed the cuts in six of his eight starts on the PGA Tour this season, collected five birdies on each nine while posting a bogey-free, 10-under-par 61 to take a two-stroke lead over Billy Horschel on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale

“It was one of those rounds that everything just went right,” said Clark, who held the 54-hole lead in the 2019 Honda Classic, but closed with a 72 to tie for seventh—his best result on the PGA Tour. “I hit a lot of fairways, gave myself a lot of good looks and made the putts. I pulled a 7-iron on the seventh hole, was trying to get within 20 feet, and wound up at about three feet.

“I actually played pretty well the last couple weeks, hit the ball well off the tee and with the irons, but wasn’t very good around the greens and didn’t make any putts. Today, I put everything together and had a great round. It just felt good.”

Horschel, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour who captured the 2014 FedEx Cup, sank a five-foot eagle putt on the third hole in a 63, while J.B. Holmes, who won at TPC Scottsdale in 2006 and 2008, is third after making a hole in one on the 175-yard fourth hole and adding seven birdies on the last 10 holes in a 64.

Byeong Hun An of South Korea and the University of California, made five birdies while starting on the back nine on his way to a 65 and is tied for fourth with Harris English, Bud Cauley and Tom Hoge, who has finished in the top 10 the last two weeks.

Sungjae Im of South Korea holed a 14-foot eagle putt at No. 15 en route to a 66 and is tied for eighth with Nate Lashley, Adam Long, Hudson Swafford and K.J. Choi of South Korea.

Third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, a local favorite after playing at Arizona State, shot 67 and is in a tie for 13th that includes ninth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, while four-ranked Justin Thomas is tied for 23rd after a 68, and defending champion Rickie Fowler of Murrieta struggled to a 74 and is tied for 110th.

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