Little about Cameron Davis’ pre-round routine today seemed to offer the Australian much confidence.
Not that it mattered.
Despite some early nerves in his FedEx Cup Playoffs debut, the Sydneysider showcased supreme nerve in posting a seven-under 64 in the first round at TPC Boston. The 25-year-old will enter round two tied atop the leaderboard with Harris English, Kevin Streelman and Russell Henley, with seven others one shot behind.
“My swing was a little sloppy and I wasn’t hitting the ball very solid on the range,” Davis said. “And then to start on the back nine very strong and hit a lot of good quality shots, I feel really proud of the way I dug in and did a really good job of just planning my shots out and committing to some lines and getting a couple birdies early on in that stretch. Definitely eased the tension a little bit and let me keep going.”
Davis, who tied for 15th last week at the Wyndham Championship, could secure his position in next week’s BMW Championship with a strong result over the next three days. He arrived in Boston at 91st in the FedExCup standings and needing a tie for 20th or better to advance to Chicago.
So far, so good.
“I don’t think I would play this course any differently if I was doing really well in the FedExCup or not,” he said. “I’d just pick my plan for what I think will give me the best chance to have a good score and I think that would be the same if I was No.1 or No.125.”
Davis, starting on the back nine, opened with precision, rolling in four of his five birdie putts from inside five feet. It was the opposite story on the front, where he connected on a trio of lengthy birdies, including two from beyond 20 feet. A two-putt bogey at the par-3 eighth was his lone blemish of the day.
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“I was feeling a little nervous, but I got a couple of really good swings off, and [thought], OK, I have my feels now and know where the ball is going, and [went] from there,” he said. “It’s a little easier to plan your way around.
“It’s just one way around this place that suits my eye for each pin location. I’m going to stick to that plan. I don’t think anything is attacked more unless it’s like back nine on Sunday, and you’ve got to really make a charge and you can’t afford to be making pars. I think that’s the only time it really changes, but up until that point, I feel like the game plan that I’ve got gives me the most chances for birdie.”
Elsewhere at TPC Boston, Adam Scott posted a five-under 66 to sit in a tie for 12th, while Matt Jones is tied for 30th at three-under alongside Tiger Woods and defending champion Patrick Reed. Scott – who earned his inaugural PGA Tour win here in 2003 – is already inching towards a place in the season-ending Tour Championship, while Jones will require a finish of 23rd or better to advance to the second leg of the playoffs.
Cameron Smith is tied for 53rd after opening with a two-under 69, while Jason Day shot 70. Marc Leishman, who has already secured his spot at East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship, is at four-over.