PARTIAL First-Round Notes – Thursday, November 3, 2016

Weather: Sunny, with a high of 76. Wind NE at 6-12 mph.

The first round was suspended due to darkness at 5:49 p.m. Pacific Time Thursday with 26 players left on the course. Those players will be back in position at 7:30 a.m. PT Friday to complete their round. The second round will begin as scheduled at 7:05 a.m. PT.

First-Round Leaders
Rod Pampling               60 (-11)
John Huh                      62 (-9)
Brooks Koepka             62 (-9)

Rod Pampling
Making his seventh start in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Rod Pampling opened with a career-low 60 to tie the course record set by J.J. Henry in 2014. His previous best round on the PGA TOUR was a 63 (twice – most recently at the 2008 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational).

In six previous starts at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Pampling’s best result is a T16 in 2005. Pampling has not competed in Las Vegas since 2012 when he finished T68.

This marks Pampling’s fourth round on the PGA TOUR with two eagles (Nos. 6 and 16) and first since the 2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Pampling is making his third start of the season (Safeway Open/MC and Sanderson Farms Championship/T42) and 342nd on the PGA TOUR.

Pampling has two career PGA TOUR victories, but not since the 2006 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard (3/19/2006). He also won the 2004 The INTERNATIONAL (modified stableford format).

For the last two seasons, Pampling has secured his PGA TOUR card via the Tour. This past season, Pampling posted two top-15 finishes in the Tour Finals to finish 23rd on the final priority ranking order.

Pampling has missed the FedExCup Playoffs the last four seasons.

This marks Pampling’s seventh 18-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2009 Barracuda Championship.

First-Round Lead Notes
Since the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open became a 72-hole event in 2004, Ryan Moore (2012) is the only first-round leader/co-leader who has carried that lead on to victory. He opened that year with a 10-under 61 and a one-stroke lead over Brendon de Jonge.

Most recently, David Hearn, Michael Thompson, Mark Hubbard and Tyler Aldridge shared the opening-round lead at the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at 7-under 64. Eventual-champion Smylie Kaufman opened with a 67 and was T26.

So far during the 2016-17 season, Justin Thomas (CIMB Classic) is the only first-round leader/co-leader who has gone on to win.

Brooks Koepka
With a bogey-free, 9-under 62, Brooks Koepka posted his career-low round on the PGA TOUR in his 65th career start. Koepka was one birdie shy of his career-best 10, which occurred during the third round of the 2015 Tournament of Champions.

Koepka is making his fourth start in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Sandwiched between two missed cuts in 2013 and 2015 is a T4 effort in 2014.

Needing just 24 putts to complete his round, Koepka made 147’11” feet of putts, including four putts over 20 feet: (No.2/20’2”, No. 6/20’7”, No. 7/24’8” and No. 18/39’11”). Last season, Koepka ranked T6 for Putts Made Per Event Over 20 feet, just behind leaders Jason Day and Jordan Spieth (2.4 average), Zach Johnson (2.1 average) and Daniel Summerhays (2.0 average).

Koepka is one of seven players who made the trip from Shanghai, China, after competing in last week’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (T40), his only start of the 2016-17 season.

Koepka is one of three U.S. Ryder Cup team members in the field, in addition to Jimmy Walker and local favorite Ryan Moore. In September, Koepka made his first-ever start at the Ryder Cup, going 3-1 in his four matches in the United States’ 17-11 victory at Hazeltine, including a dominating 5&4 singles victory over reigning Masters champion Danny Willet. His three-point total (tied with Brandt Snedeker) was second only to Patrick Reed’s 3 ½ points.

Koepka is in search of his second career PGA TOUR victory. He picked up his maiden title at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Since the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, Koepka has the second-most total eagles on TOUR with 39, two behind Dustin Johnson with 41.

John Huh
John Huh made a career-high nine birdies en route to a 9-under 62, including five consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-17.

Huh is making his fifth start in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open where his best finish is a T13 in his first start, 2012.

Huh is in search of his second career PGA TOUR victory to go along with this 2012 title at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Additional Player Notes
A week after taking a share of the lead into the final round of the Sanderson Farms Championship – resulting in a career-best T2 finish – Luke List opened with a 6-under 65 in his Shriners Hospitals for Children Open debut.

Making his 2016-17 season debut, Billy Horschel opened with a bogey-free, 7-under 64 in his third start in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (2014/MC, 2011/T16). The 2014 FedExCup champion’s last start was the BMW Championship, where despite a T10 finish, he ended his season at No. 66 in the standings.

It’s been 23 years since Davis Love III won the 1993 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and this week marks his 23rd start in Las Vegas. He opened with a 3-under 68 in the first round. Since 1992, Love is a combined 159-under par in the event, the second lowest score to par behind Jim Furyk (-171).

Defending champion Smylie Kaufman opened with an even-par 71. Jim Furyk (1998-99) is the only player to win back-to-back at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

With his win at the Sanderson Farms Championship, Cody Gribble became the 13th left-handed winner on the PGA TOUR and the youngest left-handed player to win since Phil Mickelson won the 1996 AT&T Byron Nelson. Gribble opened with a 1-over 72.

After heading into final event of last season ranked No. 124 in the FedExCup standings, Matt Jones missed the cut to finish No. 126 in FedExCup standings and No. 126 on the money list with $712,723. The Australian made the most of his sponsor invite with seven birdies against one bogey good for a 6-under 65 (T5). Jones has made the cut once in three previous starts in Las Vegas, finishing T65 in 2008.

2016 NCAA Champion Aaron Wise (T8), who will be a rookie on the 2017 Tour, is making his fifth career PGA TOUR start this week on a sponsor exemption. Wise missed the cut at the Safeway Open and Sanderson Farms Championship. He lives in Las Vegas and works on his game with local teaching professional Jeff Smith.

Dating to 2010, Las Vegas native Scott Piercy has the most birdies by any player at the Shriners Hospital for Open.

Player Total birdies since 2010 (through round one)
Scott Piercy 119
Nick Watney 115
Jason Bohn 113
Chad Campbell 109

Miscellaneous Notes
Jim Furyk (1995) and Tiger Woods (1996) both own their maiden PGA TOUR titles at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Since Woods won in 1996, 10 players have posted their first career PGA TOUR victory in Las Vegas: Phil Tataurangi (2002), Andre Stolz (2004), Wes Short Jr. (2005), Troy Matteson (2006), George McNeill (2007), Marc Turnesa (2008), Martin Laird (2009), Kevin Na (2011), Ben Martin (2014) and Smylie Kaufman (2015).

Since 1995, there have now been 10 winners of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in their 20s, second most for a tournament during this time frame. The BMW Championship has yielded 11 winners under the age of 30. The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard shares the second spot with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with 10.

Ten former Shriners Hospitals for Children Open champions are in the field:
Champion (Year)                      R1 Score
Smylie Kaufman (2015-16)         71 (E)
Ben Martin (2014-15)                  71 (E)
Webb Simpson (2013-14)           71 (E)
Ryan Moore (2012)                    68 (-3)
Kevin Na (2011)             68 (-3)
Jonathan Byrd (2010)                 71 (E)
Martin Laird (2009)                     Has not completed round one.    
Stuart Appleby (2003)                76 (+5)
Bob Estes (2001)                      73 (+2)
Davis Love III (1993)                  68 (-3)

Colt Knost withdrew after 11 holes due to a wrist injury.

Ben Crane withdrew after the round due to a back injury.