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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Patrick Cantley, rookie Lee Hodges by La Quinta. shared a first round lead in

by John Nicholson ap sports writer

La Quinta – Patrick Cantley shot 10-under-par 62 in perfect weather and turf conditions at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday for a first-round lead with rookie Lee Hodges on The American Express.

Cantley played the first seven holes at 7-under, making a par-5 sixth and an eagle on five birdies. The FedEx Cup champions added birdies at numbers 11-13, two of them par-5, and closed with five straight crosses.

“I got off to a roll in the beginning and made a bunch of putts and then I fell behind on the way oncoming,” said Cantley, who starred at Servite High and UCLA. “But I was happy with everything. I thought I did everything well and it’s a golf course that I really like. It’s in perfect shape and so, if you get the ball rolling over the line, So it should go in.”

Kentley won the BMW Championship and Tour Championship in his last two starts last year and started the year with a fourth-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii two weeks ago. Last year in the desert, the 29-year-old closed with a stadium course-record 61 to finish a shot behind winner Si Woo Kim.

“I grew up a few hours away, so there’s a bunch of friendly faces in the crowd and so it’s really fun,” Cantley said. “The best part of what I do is when you’re on a roll like that and you’re making birdies.”

Hodges made a memorable start to the event. The former Alabama star played last nine at La Quinta at 7-under 29, par-5 fifth and scored five birdies.

“It’s one of my favorite golf courses I’ve ever played, to be honest,” Hodges said. “I played it, I think three times now and it’s fantastic. It’s like hitting the mat half the time. It’s in perfect shape. You get rewarded for good shots here, which I love. Good.” Golf is rewarded.”

Cameron Young and KH Lee were third on 64. Young played at La Quinta and Lea on the stadium course.

Brandt Snedecker was 65 years old, including Joseph Bramlett, Grayson Sieg, Sam Ryder, Danny Lee, Tom Hoge, Wyndham Clarke and Seamus Power. Snedecker and Clark played at La Quinta, Bramlett and Ryder at the Stadium Course, and Lee, Hoge, Power and Sig Nicklaus played at the Tournament Course.

Opening players at La Quinta will play the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday and a strong wind on Saturday at the nearby Stadium Course on the weekend.

Top-ranked Jon Rahm and Graeme McDowell were in the group on 66, both playing at La Quinta.

“I liked the score and the weather,” said Rahm. “It is always very pleasant to be out here. La Quinta Country Club This is a great golf course. It is always in pristine shape, we play one of the best by size all year round.”

McDowell had only played the event once before, missing the cut in 2003.

“I feel like my caddy and I are both looking at each other and wondering why it took us so long to get here,” McDowell said. “Obviously, the weather is right and these golf courses are very well presented.”

Harry Higgs had a hole-in-one 66 in La Quinta, par-3 15th. He used a 5-iron on the 199-yard hole.

Tournament host Phil Mickelson was tied for the last time in the 156-player field after 78 at La Quinta. He made a quintuple-bogie 9 on par-4 eighth after hitting two drives off the boundary.

World Nation News Desk
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