2022 American Categorical leaderboard: Patrick Cantlay stays scorching as FedEx Cup champion co-leads with 62 in Spherical 1

The No. 4 participant on this planet leads after 18 holes on the American Categorical, however the No. 1 participant on this planet isn’t far behind. Patrick Cantlay shot a 10-under 62 to co-lead the occasion with Lee Hodges (extra on him in a bit) as he appears to be like for his fourth-consecutive top-five end on the PGA Tour and his second victory in that run as properly.

Let’s check out his first spherical and a enjoyable board full of huge names, together with the largest one, who’s 4 again of Cantlay however can be powerful to shake over the ultimate 54 holes.

The chief

After Cantlay performed the primary seven holes in 7 below at La Quinta Nation Membership (the simplest of the three programs), it regarded as if a 59 watch was on. He proceeded to birdie three of the primary 4 on the again as properly earlier than cooling off with 5 pars in his final 5 holes. Nonetheless, his 62 was according to the heater he is been on for about six months now.

“I acquired off to a roll in the beginning and type of made a bunch of putts and then I type of lagged on the way in which coming in,” mentioned Cantlay. “However I used to be proud of every thing, I assumed I did every thing properly and it is a golf course I actually like, it is in good form and so should you get the ball rolling on line it ought to go in.”

Apparently, this is not even Cantlay’s finest rating in his final two rounds at this event. He shot 61 within the finale final 12 months on the PGA West Stadium Course to complete one stroke out of a playoff. He is the simple favourite at 2-1 going into the ultimate three rounds.

The opposite chief

Lee Hodges additionally shot 10 below at La Quinta Nation Membership, and his card was the other of Cantlay’s. He began slower — he was simply 2 below by way of the primary 10 holes and closed in a frenzy by enjoying his final eight in 7 below.

Hodges is a pleasant participant who remains to be ranked exterior the highest 300 within the Official World Golf Rankings however performed properly on the Korn Ferry Tour final season. Hodge’s faculty profession was break up between UAB and Alabama, the place he misplaced to Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland 4 and three within the finals of the 2018 NCAA Division I Males’s Golf Group Match Play Championship as Oklahoma State went on to beat the Crimson Tide 5-0. Hodges gained on the Korn Ferry in 2020 and completed within the high 10 in factors to earn his PGA Tour card.

Hodges’ finest end up to now on the PGA Tour is a tie for eleventh on the Barracuda Championship so going at it with Rahm and Cantlay is a very totally different world. Nonetheless, he is off to an ideal begin, and his trajectory suggests he could be a good participant on the massive boy Tour.

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter break down Thursday’s first-round motion at The American Categorical. Comply with & take heed to The First Minimize on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Different contenders

T3: Ok.H. Lee, Cameron Younger (-8)
T5: Joseph Bramlett, Sam Ryder, Brandt Snedeker, Danny Lee, Tom Hoge, Wyndham Clark, Seamus Energy, Greyson Sigg (-7)

The attention-grabbing half about enjoying three totally different programs is how a lot they differ in diploma of issue. Lee really led your entire subject in strokes gained as a result of his course (PGA West Stadium Course) was enjoying two strokes tougher than the course Cantlay and Hodges performed. So 8 below on the Stadium Course was barely higher in comparison with the sphere there than 10 below at La Quinta in comparison with the sphere there. This implies little come Sunday but it surely’s instructive because it pertains to how the subsequent few days will play out.

The lurker

Rahm shot 6-under 66 at La Quinta which was equal to gaining simply over three strokes on the sphere. That is about the place he is taken up residence of late, and if he does it every of the subsequent two days, he will be in it come Sunday on a course the place he is gained earlier than. It prolonged his unbelievable run to begin the season, too. Listed here are the numbers.

  • 38 birdies
  • 50 pars
  • 1 eagle
  • 1 bogey
  • 39 below
  • 17 strokes gained

Think about making one bogey in your first 90 holes of the 12 months. Think about making one bogey in your first 18 holes of the 12 months.

Quote of the day

“Yeah, [La Quinta] might be the best-conditioned golf course on Tour. It is in wonderful form each time I’ve ever been right here and so it is actually enjoyable to play a golf course that is in good form.” – Patrick Cantlay

There was a number of that from gamers Thursday, and Rahm at one level even jokingly (type of jokingly?) petitioned for a membership.

Nice day/dangerous day

Phil Mickelson and Matthew Wolff didn’t get pleasure from themselves Thursday. They each shot 6 over, and Mickelson did it on the simplest course within the rotation. Wolff went out in 40 on the Stadium Course, and Mickelson made a 9 on a par 4. He additionally misplaced 9 strokes to the sphere, greater than two greater than anyone else enjoying within the event. Because the host right here, he’ll be there till Sunday, however I doubt he’ll be swinging a membership previous Saturday’s lower.

Finest tweet

Harry Higgs made a hole-in-one Thursday on the par-3 fifteenth at La Quinta en path to a 66.

New odds and choose

All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Patrick Cantlay: 2-1
  • Jon Rahm: 9/2
  • Seamus Energy: 14-1
  • Ok.H. Lee: 16-1
  • Lee Hodges: 28-1
  • Abraham Ancer: 28-1

Energy is fairly attention-grabbing right here. He is been superior of late. Three straight top-15 finishes on the PGA Tour, together with a T3 final week on the Sony Open. The issue for him after capturing 7 below on the Nicklaus Event Course is that you may possibly take down Rahm or Cantlay, however can you are taking down each of them? If I needed to take any individual on the checklist above, I’d go along with Rahm. I like that he is proper in the midst of it however that he has a little bit longer odds than Cantlay. His golf has been completely elegant for nearly a 12 months, and he is gained this occasion earlier than. I additionally love that he did not love how he performed Thursday.

“My swing did not really feel 100%, however I type of adjusted a little bit bit and I performed some good golf,” Rahm mentioned. “Hopefully I can tidy up a pair putts. My first few holes I did not hit one of the best putts, however then beginning on I believe it was on 8 or 9 I began rolling the ball higher and it confirmed, made a pair clutch putts on the again 9.”

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