Robby Shelton admitted he was nervous before his first round as a full-fledged member of the PGA Tour, but he didn’t show it.
The 24-year-old Shelton, who won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour last season and finished third on the points list to earn his card on the big tour, posted an 8-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead over five players after one round of A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier on the Old White TPC Course https://tpc.com › oldwhite Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
This is the first event of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season.
“Last night, it was tough to sleep,” said Shelton, who helped Alabama win the NCAA Championship in 2014. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all season. I think my sponsor exemptions and stuff, I thought I had to change my game and try to play with the big boys.
“Now, I mean, I know it’s just golf. I’ve been through the Mackenzie Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour, so I know what my game has. And if I can just get to that sooner, that’s the goal. Been a heck of a season and the game is trending in a good direction again. Super excited and just ready to get the next three (rounds) going.”
Shelton, who plans to play the first five tournament of the new season, collected birdies on the first three holes, added two more on the front nine and four on the back before making his only bogey on the last hole.
Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, who essentially is the defending champion since he won at the Greenbrier when this event was last played two years ago, carded for birdies on the last six holes to shoot 64 and is tied for second with Scott Harrington, Mark Hubbard, Zach Sucher and Lanto Griffin.
Joaquin Niemann, the 20-year-old from Chile, shot 65 and is in a huge tie for seventh with Harold Varner III, Jimmy Walker, Sung Kang of South Korea, Brian Harman, Sam Ryder, Scottie Scheffler, Bronson Burgoon, Doug Ghim and Rob Oppenheim.
“I played great today,” said Na, who claimed his third PGA Tour victory earlier this year in the Charles Schwab Challenge. “I hit a lot of great iron shots and made some putts. I thought the greens were pretty firm. I didn’t think it was playing that easy. Scores were low and I was able to play well and post a number.
“ … I have a lot of good memories here and I’m excited to be back defending. Nice to see my picture up on the wall and have my own defending champion locker. It’s pretty cool.”
Tenth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis is tied for 53rd at 68.
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