The story of the day at the Greenbrier Classic looked like it was going to be Davis Love III’s bogey-free seven-under 63, and it still might factor into the story of the week, but Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz, for one day at least, upstaged the two-time Ryder Cup captain by posting a nine-under par 61 this morning, Australian time, to take a two-stroke lead over at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Munoz, 24, found himself at six-under after 10 holes, and didn’t drop a shot until the par-4 13th. It did not stop his momentum, though, and he went on to make four straight birdies before finally cooling off on the par-3 18th, making par for a 61.
The US PGA Tour rookie has missed five cuts and finished no higher than T-27 in 11 events, yet he has shown an ability to go low recently. In early June, Munoz opened the FedEx St Jude Classic with rounds of 64 and 67, before ultimately fading on the weekend and finishing T-60.
The last time we saw Davis Love III he was caddieing for his son Dru in the US Open at Erin Hills. A few weeks later he’s two shots back at the Greenbrier, in only his eighth start on tour this season. Love III, 53, made birdie on four of his first five holes, sprinkling three more on his way to the clubhouse for his lowest round since the 2015 Wyndham Championship. He opened that week with a 64, and went on to win for the first time in seven years. A win by Love III this week would break Sam Snead’s record for the oldest winner in PGA Tour history.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 7, 2017
Three players carded bogey-free six-under 64s, including defending champion Danny Lee. It’s his fourth appearance at the Greenbrier, where, in addition to his victory, he’s missed the cut (2012) and finished T-16 (2014). His 2017 campaign got off to a bumpy start with his missing five cuts, withdrawing twice and finishing no higher than T-41 in his first 10 events. He’s righted the ship since, registering eight top-25s, three top-10s and a T-3 at the Travellers Championship.
The other blemish-free 64s belonged to Canada’s Graham DeLaet and Sweden’s David Lingmerth. DeLaet, 35, has quietly put together a solid season, finishing in the top-10 five times and the top-25 eight. He’s never missed the cut in four appearances at the Greenbrier, with his best finish coming in 2012 (T-12). Lingmerth continues to show some strong form, having made eight consecutive cuts, finishing T-26 or better seven of those times.
Matt Jones’ four-under 66 sees him as the leading Australian after the first round.
In his first start without longtime caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay on the bag, Phil Mickelson carded a three-under 67 that included birdies on two of his final three holes.