Day 1 of the Frys.com Open has resulted in a cluster of illustrious young players atop the leaderboard, but it highlighted a scrappy veteran who seemed to be putting into a basketball hoop on the greens.
Nick O'Hern was unconscious in firing a bogey-free, nine-under 62. The 41-year-old Aussie needed only 23 putts on the day, and capped the round with a birdie on No. 9. It certainly doesn't look like's fighting for his PGA Tour card.
Jhonattan Vegas opts not to go by "Johnny Vegas" despite the name's swagger factor, but the flashiness of his game speaks for itself. He carded an impressive opening six-under 65 at CordeValle Golf Club. It was good enough to take a one-stroke lead in what is a logjammed leaderboard full of fiery competitors.
Vegas carded seven birdies to one bogey, and only needed 26 putts to get around the San Martin, California track on what was an uncharacteristically overcast day.
Also sitting just three shots back is Nicolas Colsaerts, the European Ryder Cup captain's pick who electrified Medinah with eight birdies and an eagle to open group play.
Jonas Blixt is a rookie fresh off a third-place showing last week, and should be a favorite at five under par. 20-year-old American Patrick Cantlay—who recently turned pro and could be the future face of American golf—lurks inside the Top 10 at four under.
In what has been a crazy, playoff-filled 2012 season on the PGA Tour, this week should provide similar drama. Here is a look at the logjammed leaderboard, among other entertainment.
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Check out Nick O'Hern, Thursday's leader. Not only did he close with a birdie, but he bookended his front nine of the day on the 18th with this 35-foot snake. Strong finishes to both sides for O'Hern—belly putter and all...
Gary Woodland has fought through injuries all season, but still has a shot at his Tour card. He sits at No. 124 on the money list after making birdie on four of the last six holes to card a five-under 66. This is the putt he drained on the 13th hole to begin the barrage.
Nicolas Colsaerts takes advantage of another great drive, stiffing a wedge on No. 4. That led to his first of six birdies on the day.
To add similar FedEx Cup-style intrigue to the event, PGATour.com tweeted out a link to a constantly updated projected money list for the 2012 season. Only the top 125 get to retain their Tour cards, and this will be a useful tracker to follow the intense action in the fall finish.
IMG World's European Tour assistant producer Rick Greaves had the funniest tweet in the middle of Thursday's action. It was poking fun at rising star Nicolas Colsaerts, who was in the midst of a strong round of 65.
Colsaerts 4 under thru 11 at the Frys.com Open (PGA). Aiming to become most popular Belgian in USA since waffles & the Saxophone— Tom Greaves (@TomGreavesGolf) October 11, 2012
The people over at Nike Golf were certainly pleased with the day their sponsored player Jhonattan Vegas had, as he is squarely in contention at the Frys.com Open in a tie for second.