Keegan Bradley Takes the Lead
Recap for Thursday, April 29, 2021
We continue covering the Valspar Championship Daily and here is your recap for April 29th. Keegan Bradley, winner of four PGA TOUR titles including the 2011 PGA Championship, is the first round leader by two shots of the Valspar Championship after firing a 7-under par 64 on Thursday (Featured Photo of Keegan Bradley from PGA Tour Above).
A total of 44 players shot 2-under 69 or better including Max Homa among five 66s, Jason Kokrak and Abraham Ancer among seven at 67, two-time defending champion Paul Casey (LEFT), Kevin Kisner, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Na at 68, and Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas at 69. All 10 of those named players are in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Dustin Johnson, #1 in the OWGR shot 71. He, Thomas and Niemann will tee off at 8:01 on Friday. The leader, Bradley, will go off at 1 p.m. Fans of all ages enjoyed Round 1 on a sunny day that produced optimal scoring conditions.
Paul Casey, who is trying to become only the fourth player in the last 40 years to win the same tournament three straight times (Tiger Woods did it on six occasions) almost became the first player ever to ace the par 3 on the 4th hole in tournament play, missing by a few inches. It is the same 4th hole that former MLB pitcher David Wells aced in the pro-celebrity-am on Monday.
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Keegan Bradley is no stranger to first round success on the Copperhead as this is the fifth consecutive Valspar in which he has been tied for 6th or better. But in the previous four, further success eluded him as his best final finish was a tie for 31st. In 2016, he was also the first round leader after a 67, but missed the cut.
“I’ve been playing some good golf for a couple of months now,” said Keegan Bradley who was 5th last week in the Zurich Classic while partnered with Brendan Steele. “The putter’s been a lot better. I have a great team, a great caddie, coach, and my family is here.”
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Sungjae Im had an interesting round as he was 5-under after birdies at the Copperhead Course’s first four par threes. No player, in over 8,000 tournament rounds, has ever birdies all five par 3s on the course, and that streak remained intact when Im bogeyed the par 3 17th.
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The full First Round Leaderboard is here.
PGA TOUR NOTES: After receiving widespread attention ahead of his PGA TOUR debut, Monday qualifier Michael Visacki made birdie on No. 1 before carding a 3-over 74…Patton Kizzire (T2/-5) made a 73-foot, 2-inch birdie putt at No. 5, the second-longest made putt of his PGA TOUR career (longest: 73’8”, 2016 The Honda Classic)… Two-time defending champion Paul Casey cards a 3-under 68, two strokes better than his opening score in his two wins at the event (70 in 2018 and 2019)
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