Cameron Tringale has never won an individual event in his 13 seasons on the PGA Tour but finds himself atop the leaderboard.
The 34-year-old Tringale, from Mission Viejo, posted a brilliant, nine-under-par 61 to take a three-stroke lead over Gary Woodland in the 40th Genesis Scottish Open despite breezy to outright windy conditions at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland.
The tournament is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour a week ahead of the 150th Open Championship, which will be played right down the road on the famed Old Course at St. Andrews.
“I haven’t had a professional win on my own, and obviously Scotland is where golf started, so this place is special,” said Tringale, who teamed with Jason Day of Australia to win the 2014 Franklin Templeton Shootout. “Golf is more fun when the putts are going in, and they were for me today.
“I played here in 2015 and in a few Opens, so I’ve had moderate experience (playing links golf). I’m not a total newbie, but I love playing links golf. It’s so much fun. … You do the best you can. I was just fortunate with the amount of putts I holed. I struck it pretty nicely, but I was just dialed in on the greens and I think that tells the story.
“I’m just really focused on what I can control. I’ve done poorly enough to learn the lessons and hopefully I continue to just go and play, and worry about being committed. The good outcomes will come as a by-product if I can keep my head on straight.”
Tringale, who bested the previous low score of his pro career by one stroke, started on the back nine and birdied his first six holes before adding three more birdies in a span of four holes through No. 8 on the front side.
Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, eagled the third hole and added four birdies on the back nine in a bogey-free 64, while Justin Hardin of South Africa, who has won 11 times in his pro career, is third after a bogey-free 65.
“I’ve struggled coming over here,” said Woodland, who has four PGA Tour victories. “I played the Scottish once before, 2011, so it’s been a long time. I think the big deal is the pace of greens. They are usually typically so fast back home and over here you can’t get them that fast with the (windy) conditions. But it’s nice to get over here and get familiar with the speed of the greens. That will be a big deal next week as well.
“The wind was brutal, but I drove the golf ball in the fairway, and that’s huge out here. There are some tough driving holes. You’ve got to keep it in play. I did that today, and I gave myself a chance to be a little more aggressive into the green.”
Kurt Kitayama of Chico and UNLV made bogeys on his first and last holes but had six birdies in between while posting a 66 and is tied for fourth with Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark, who collected four straight birdies through No. 5, and Mito Pereira of Chile, who birdied three of the first four holes.
Ninth-ranked Sam Burns made three straight birdies through No. 5 and added 15 pars in a bogey-free 67 and is in a big tie for seventh with Brandon Wu of Danville and Stanford, Ryan Palmer, Doug Ghim, Ewen Ferguson of Scotland, Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, Alex Smalley and Dylan Frittelli of Scotland.
Third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain shot 68 and is in a tie for 15th that includes sixth-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, while seventh-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA is tied for 39th at 70, and fourth-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal totaled 71 and is in a tie for 51st that includes 10th-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who recently won the U.S. Open.
Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, the 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist who is ranked 11th, posted a 72 to tie for 69th, while top-ranked Scottie Scheffler is tied for 89th at 73 and eighth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway struggled to a 74 and is tied for 112th.
Defending champion Min Woo Lee of Australia made only one birdie in an ugly 77 and is tied for 142nd.
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