The American Tony Finau is the leader at the Charles Schwab Challenger which started yesterday, ahead of fellow American Jordan Spieth.
He credited a putting grip for his six-under-par 64 in Texas.
Finau has a one-shot lead after he managed seven birdies together with a bogey at Colonial Country Club yesterday.
He’s ahead of Canadian Roger Sloan as well as American Jordan Spieth with just one shot. Spieth’s form is ongoingly improving after a third-place finish at the PGA Championship last week with another encouraging 65.
He's ranked 4th this season in Driving Distance, but Thursday was all about the other 13 clubs for 18-hole leader @TonyFinauGolf.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 24, 2019
At the event in Bethpage last week, Finau only managed 64th place, where he rolled in a 19-footer for his opening birdie at the third and then at the par-3 fourth he had a simple tap-in for another birdie.
The American got the only bogey of the day at the very next hole, but he instantly put that behind him as he managed back-to-back gains at the seventh and eighth before getting another three straight birdies from the 11th.
Those birdies included one putt of 24 feet and another of 26 feet, while he also saved par late in his round by sinking a 30-footer, and Finau revealed afterwards that a change in his putting grip had done the trick.
Leaderboard after 18 holes @CSChallengeFW:
1. @TonyFinauGolf -6
T4. 9 players tied at -3 pic.twitter.com/hoXOZC1CtT
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 23, 2019
“I haven’t been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is, ‘Do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not?’” Finau said.
“Outside of everything else, ‘Do you believe you can make the putt?’ So for me, I needed to switch something.”
Spieth, meanwhile, had an eventful round that included eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey, but the gains he made were more than enough to cancel out all the mistakes, and the 25-year-old Texan is confident his slump is a thing of the past.
“I know what I have needed to work on and I knew it was going to take a lot of time,” Spieth said.
“It’s nice to see some results off what I believe is the progress I’ve been making. At the same time, it’s one round. I’ve got to keep my head down and keep working.”
A large group of nine players – eight of them Americans – share fourth place on three under, including Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Trey Mullinax and J.J. Henry.