2022 BMW Championship leaderboard: Keegan Bradley leads after Spherical 1 with loads of large hitters close to high

The BMW Championship received off to a unbelievable begin Thursday as the very best gamers on the earth labored their method up the leaderboard and maybe the highest golfer on the earth kicked away a shot on the first-round lead (extra on that later). Keegan Bradley is the chief after firing a 7-under 64 over the primary 18 holes and is on the lookout for his second BMW Championship victory within the final 5 years.

Bradley might have plenty of big-name firm on the high of the leaderboard over the following 54 holes. Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth all had good days and are all in a superb place to win what could possibly be a second nice playoff occasion this week.

Wilmington Nation Membership was, as predicted, a bomber’s paradise. Bradley is blissful about that as a result of it is one of many strongest components of his sport and the highest of the leaderboard is plagued by the largest hitters within the sport. Although we will debate whether or not that is a superb factor for PGA Tour setups, what we won’t actually query is that it is a actuality this week which has implications for the way the remainder of the match will play out.

Let’s check out Bradley’s first spherical and what to search for over the following three days.

The leaders

1. Keegan Bradley (-7): His 64 in Spherical 1 was highlighted by one of many higher placing days of his profession. He led the sphere in placing, did his normal lights-out routine along with his iron play and because of this, nabbed one more first-round lead on the PGA Tour. Surprisingly, Bradley trails solely Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas in first-round leads during the last three years.

Simply as necessary for Bradley, who got here into the day ranked No. 44 within the FedEx Cup standings, he’s projected to leap into the highest 5 going to the Tour Championship at East Lake. Clearly there is a lengthy method to go, however this could be simply his second Tour Championship since 2014 (with the opposite coming in 2018 when he received the BMW Championship).

“I by no means look to see what I’ve to do [to make it to the Tour Championship],” Bradley mentioned. “Whether or not I play on this match or Sony or any match, I at all times wish to do the very best I can, whether or not it is thirty fifth as an alternative of thirty sixth or first, no matter it’s. I by no means really feel like that helps me, I really feel prefer it hurts me truly. However this can be a good begin, clearly.”

Different contenders

2. Adam Scott (-6)

T3. Justin Thomas, Shane Lowry, Harold Varner III (-5)

T6. Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Tyrrel Hatton, Cameron Younger, Russell Henley, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Chez Reavie (-4)

Thomas has develop into the match favourite after Spherical 1. He is had a little bit of an up-and-down few months (a minimum of for him) since he received the PGA Championship in Might. He practically received in Canada, however all the pieces else has been fairly mediocre. He did pop off on the FedEx St. Jude Championship final week the place he completed within the high 15 and was superior Thursday. One factor to regulate is that he solely hit eight fairways and misplaced strokes to the sphere off the tee. I am unsure he can putt his method out of that like he did Thursday, however he is been so persistently close to the highest of the FedEx Cup race lately — first, seventh, third, second and fourth during the last 5 years — that I count on extra of the identical going to East Lake.

Rory’s solely miss

It regarded for a bit within the afternoon like the very best participant on the earth during the last 12 months (a minimum of statistically) would lead this match after the primary day. Then McIlroy tried to hit a lower into the par-3 fifteenth, made a triple after it landed in the course of a pond and settled for a 3-under 68. Extremely, this was not the one place he dropped three strokes. The 5 moved him from third to ninth within the FedEx Cup standings, which implies that he additionally misplaced three strokes off subsequent week’s beginning numbers on the Tour Championship. Nonetheless, it was a powerful day for McIlroy, who completely bludgeoned Wilmington Nation Membership along with his driver and doubtless ought to have gotten extra out of it than he did.

“A lot better than final week,” McIlroy mentioned of his efficiency. “Kind of really feel like I shook off the rust slightly bit. Simply that one tee shot on 15. I felt like I had most likely half a membership an excessive amount of, so I used to be attempting to hit like a lower in there over the water, and I simply double-crossed it after which compounded that by the three-putt.

“However total the remainder of it was fairly good. I imply, I knew as soon as I received right here final weekend, I knew it was a golf course that was going to go well with me higher than final week. It kind of would have been good to flip them, like have my first occasion again after three weeks be this course and then Memphis subsequent week. However it was significantly better. Happy with my sport. Disenchanted with how I completed, however inspired with the remainder of it.”

Robust day with the putter

Statistically, Luke Record had one of many worst placing days I’ve ever seen. He in some way gained strokes from tee to inexperienced and nonetheless shot 78. That is as a result of he misplaced 9.05 strokes placing, or over a half stroke per gap. Subsequent worst was Si Woo Kim at -5.14 after which you need to go to Mito Pereira at -3.40. Record ought to have shot 68 or 69 based mostly on how he hit it, and he most likely will Friday.

2022 BMW Championship up to date odds and picks

  • Justin Thomas: 6-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 9-1
  • Keegan Bradley: 11-1
  • Cameron Younger: 12-1
  • Xander Schauffele: 12-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 12-1
  • Collin Morikawa: 14-1
  • Adam Scott: 14-1

I like Rory right here, however I like Cameron Younger extra at 12-1, in line with the newest odds from Caesars Sportsbook. He’ll feast on this course, was optimistic strokes gained in each class Thursday and he is an all-or-nothing man. Every of his final 12 begins has been both inside the highest three or exterior the highest 30, which is a really unbelievable streak that I feel will proceed this weekend.

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter recap Thursday’s motion on the BMW Championship. Observe & take heed to The First Lower on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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