Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey share early Butterfield Bermuda Championship lead
Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey share an early one-stroke lead after the opening day of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course.
Taking full advantage of the calmer conditions of the afternoon session, the United States compatriots, who both teed off from the 10th, remained consistent to shoot a six-under-par 65.
Hagy, who came into the tournament fresh from finishing joint 54th at the Zozo Championship in Japan just four days prior, fired nine birdies, four of which came in succession in his first five holes, while Chamey’s round included six birdies, as well as finishing the only player to remain bogey-free throughout.
Vincent Whaley finds himself a shot behind on five under, with six players – Danny Lee, Garrick Higgo, Séamus Power, Kidradech Aphiburnrat, David Skinns and Justin Lower – all a shot farther back.
“You just had to try and hit solidly a keep the ball down,” said Hagy, who missed the cut at the championship last year. “A few of those putts are going to be here or there if they go in or not because of the wind, but I managed to stay consistent out there.
“It’s been a bit of a crazy week, but thankfully I haven’t felt it too badly and I managed to just keep my head down today.”
He added: “It sounds like the conditions were a lot stiffer this morning. We still battled some winds out there, but there are times when you get the better draw and you still have to play the golf to get a good score.
“I played here last year and so that helped. I didn’t manage to get in a practice round because I got in late from Japan but I definitely got a good feel for the course last year.
“I hit some really good iron shots into the wind, which obviously really helped and then I was to convert those putts. In these sort of conditions on this course you have to certainly try and set yourself up for at least an easy two putts. Thankfully that is what I was able to do.”
Those teeing off in the morning session must have been ruing their luck. Accompanied by howling winds off South Shore and intervals of torrential rain, which suspended play briefly, even the highly fancied among the field struggled with the varying and unpredictable conditions.
Europe Ryder Cup player Matt Fitzpatrick — fresh from his Andalucia Masters triumph — battled to a respectable even-par 71, while defending champion Brian Gay endured a torrid back nine, suffering three bogeys and a double bogey on the 16th to go from one under at the 14th to finish up on four-over 75 and tied for 89th.
With three-under 68, from Austin Eckroat and Greyson Siggs, being the lowest score from the morning session, players in the afternoon were expected to enjoy better fortune with conditions diminishing from the gusts of 35mph earlier in the day.
While the gusts were still enough to cause a few nervy putts and require finely judged approach shots, the going was certainly more favourable with greater consistency achievable. So it proved for the likes of Hagy and Ramey, in particular.
Hagy got off to a scorching start, firing four successive birdies among his opening five holes, before suffering a double bogey on the challenging 15th.
However, undeterred, he regained composure, reaching the turn three under, before going on to make four more birdies and just one bogey, on his way to 65.
While Hagy caught the eye with birdies, consistency was the order of the day for 29-year-old Ramey, who parred his first seven holes, before back-to-back birdies saw him reach the turn at two under.
Remaining bogey-free, he shot a further four birdies, three of which across the final four holes, to keep pace with his compatriot at the top of the leaderboard.
Of the four major champions competing, Patrick Reed, who enjoyed the moment of the round, with an incredible eagle at the 17th, finished on three-under 68, Graeme McDowell finished a further two shots back, while Jason Dufner and Danny Willett founding the going slightly tougher carding a two-over 73 and four-over 75 respectively.
When play was stopped, 33 players were under par, some having to return this morning to complete the first round. Only six of those scores under par came from the morning session, half of which were from the threesome of Eckroat, Siggs and Seth Reeves, who shot a two-under 69.
Today’s tee times
(Bermuda players in bold)
7.35: Fabián Gómez, Bae Sang Moon, Scott Stallings.
7.46: Sean O'Hair, Olin Browne, Cameron Percy.
7.57: D.A. Points, John Senden, Andrés Romero.
8.08: Peter Malnati, Denny McCarthy, Brandon Hagy.
8.19: David Hearn, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
8.30: Mito Pereira, Lucas Herbert, Brandon Wu.
8.41: Joseph Bramlett, Austin Smotherman, Patrick Flavin.
8.52: Nick Hardy, Chad Ramey, Kyle Wilshire.
9.03: John Merrick, Justin Lower, Chaka DeSilva.
9.14: Curtis Thompson, Ludvig Aberg.
9.25: Cody Gribble, Adam Svensson, Jordan Gumberg.
7.35: Michael Kim, Patrick Rodgers, Scott Gutschewski.
7.46: Danny Lee, Noh Seung Yul, Peter Uihlein.
7.57: Greg Chalmers, Ben Martin, Johnson Wagner.
8.08: Garrick Higgo, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett.
8.19: Séamus Power, Dylan Frittelli, Graeme McDowell.
8.30: Jason Dufner, Arjun Atwal, Kramer Hickok.
8.41: Stephan Jäger, David Skinns, Harry Hall.
8.52: Vincent Whaley, Alex Smalley, Guido Migliozzi.
9.03: Matthias Schwab, Kurt Kitayama, Dylan Wu
9:14: Davis Riley, Callum Tarren, Thomas Detry.
9.25: Sahith Theegala, Michael Sims, Brian Morris.
12.15: Chris Stroud, Adam Hadwin, Matt Every.
12.26: Richard Johnson, Ricky Barnes, Beau Hossler.
12.37: Ted Potter Jr, Robert Garrigus, Daniel Chopra.
12.48: Nick Watney, Luke Donald, Matt Fitzpatrick.
12.59: Brian Gay, Nick Taylor, Camilo Villegas.
1.10: David Lingmerth, Scott Brown, Matthew NeSmith.
1.21: Jim Knous, Hayden Buckley, Aaron Rai.
1.32: Chase Seiffert, Ben Kohles, Greg Koch.
1.43: Seth Reeves, Greyson Sigg, Austin Eckroat.
1.54: Andrew Novak, Max McGreevy, Jay McLuen.
2.05: Lee Hodges, Matt Hill.
12.15: Kevin Stadler, Anirban Lahiri, J.J. Spaun.
12:26: Vaughn Taylor, Brendon de Jonge, Mark Hubbard.
12.37: Austin Cook, Ryan Armour, Russell Knox.
12.48: Martin Trainer, Brian Stuard, Hank Lebioda.
12.59: Tommy Gainey, Parker McLachlin, Sepp Straka.
1.10: J.J. Henry, Jonathan Byrd, John Rollins.
1.21: David Lipsky, Taylor Pendrith, Erik Barnes.
1.32: Ben Crane, Jason Bohn, John Pak.
1.43: Ted Purdy, Brett Drewitt, Damian Palanyandi.
1.54: Bo Hoag, Dawie van der Walt, Camiko Smith.
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service