With players' standing entering the event handicapped to reflect their position on the FedEx Cup points list, there was a feeling that the event might have been seen as a backward step in trying to retain the credibility of a contest which is essentially designed to establish the champion of the season.
With a leader-board now stacked with the game’s best, three players in the lead and ten players within four shots in the 30 man field, however, the remaining 54 holes should see one of the great shootouts of the season with not only this title at stake but the huge FedEx Cup bonuses available to all those who have made it into the elite field.
Justin Thomas, who started the day with a two-shot advantage courtesy of his lead in the FedEx Cup series, Xander Schauffele and Brook Koepka shared the lead at 10 under, Rory McIlroy one shot back and Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay at 8 under and tied for 5th.
There is, though, a host of high-quality players stacked up behind them and if today is any reflection on just where this even might go in the next few days then the elite field if sure to provide plenty of excitement.
Adam Scott is the best of the two Australians in the field, an opening round of 68 having him at 5 under although two double bogeys today proved very costly.
Scott made a nice start with two early birdies before the first of the doubles came at the 8th when pulling his tee shot into the water. He appeared to be recovering nicely with an excellent birdie at the 10th but then made a mess of the 11th when taking four to get down from alongside the green at the par 3.
He would bounce back with three birdies in his last six holes and is well enough placed despite the hiccups.
Marc Leishman is at 1 over and in 23rd place in the 30 player field although an eagle at the last was at least a good way to finish.
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