Justin Rose and Harold Varner tied for top on first day of action for PGA Tour since March | Golf News

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Paul McGinley and Sarah Stirk look back at the best of the action in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA Tour event since mid-March.

Paul McGinley and Sarah Stirk look back at the best of the action in the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA Tour event since mid-March.

Justin Rose and Harold Varner III shared the loot on the first day of golf returning to competition on the PGA Tour, 91 days after the players’ championship was withdrawn.

The Charles Schwab challenge could be out of reach of spectators, but neither the strange atmosphere nor the long break in tournament golf seemed to have a negative effect on the score at the Colonial Country Club, Rose and Varner leading the way after seven minus 63 years old. .

Harold Varner is tied at the top after a 63

Harold Varner is tied at the top after a 63

Justin Thomas was part of a group of four players just one away overnight, as it was a regular, albeit unspectacular, start of the top three players in the world while Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka handed 68s, Jon Rahm slipping to a penny after he bogeyed last.

Colonial member Ryan Palmer had the honor of hitting the first tee to announce a welcome return to competitive golf live on Sky Sports, but it was Rose who quickly set the pace early as he sought to rebuild its FedExCup campaign after a torrid year-round opening.

The former world number 1 had missed the cup in three of his first four starts in 2020 on the PGA Tour, his only weekend leading to a meager tie for 56th place at the Genesis Invitational, but three birdies on his first four holes have come a long way. to prove that he had worked hard on his game during the forced break.

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Justin Rose was thrilled to have a good start after a 91-day break from PGA Tour competition as he reflected on his first 63 round at the Colonial Country Club.

Justin Rose was thrilled to have a good start after a 91-day break from PGA Tour competition as he reflected on his first 63 round at the Colonial Country Club.

Three consecutive birdies from the first propelled him to the top of the standings, and six closing games kept him at seven cents to win a lead at the clubhouse he would enjoy or most of the afternoon, with Varner the only player among the last starters to tie 63 for the Englishman. .

Varner, one of the few prominent black professionals in the United States, has been the center of attention on the PGA Tour since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked worldwide outrage and a number of protests in almost every major city in the world. in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

But the charismatic 29-year-old showed that the quality of his golf matched his diplomacy and class by exposing racial injustice issues, keeping a clean card of seven birdies, even though he admitted he was “In the gymnasium” when play was stopped for a minute of silence in memory of Floyd at 8:46 a.m. local time.

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Harold Varner III let his golf speak for the first day of PGA Tour action for 91 days as he shot a seven under 63 to share the lead with Justin Rose at the Colonial Country Club.

Harold Varner III let his golf speak for the first day of PGA Tour action for 91 days as he shot a seven under 63 to share the lead with Justin Rose at the Colonial Country Club.

“If I’m thinking of winning a golf tournament right now, I probably lost it,” said Varner, who had long discussions on racial inequality issues with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who were filmed and then published on the PGA Tour digital. platforms.

“I know what’s going on, but when I’m on the golf course, I try to play well. The reason I have a platform is because I’m really good at golf. I just need to focus on it, and to be honest with you, being on the golf course has helped me. This is my getaway, I guess.

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“But I didn’t think it would be like this until I was in the first hole and hooked one very far to the left and I was pissed off, like it was good. These juices are awesome. ”

World No. 4 Thomas was also bogey-free for the first day of a 64 that matched the previous efforts of Abraham Ancer, Jhonattan Vegas and Collin Morikawa, while the surprise name in the five-year-old group was undoubtedly Tom Lehman, the 61-year-old player. – proving that age is not a barrier on one of the shortest and most traditional layouts of the Tour.

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Rory McIlroy looks back at an opening round 68 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and explains the impact of the lack of spectators on the event.

Rory McIlroy looks back at an opening round 68 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and explains the impact of the lack of spectators on the event.

American Ryder Cup hopefuls Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth are also just a step away from the pace overnight, while a “refreshed” Ian Rafter patented a 66 despite two imperfections during of the second half of his round which gave him the chance to join a longtime friend, Rose, at the top of the ranking.

McIlroy, who made his Colonial debut, started with a confident birdie and responded with an error in sixth with consecutive birdies at eight and nine, but found odds difficult to find on the nine worms. inside and cut nine straight holes to stay two pennies alongside playmate Koepka.

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