Zurich Classic 2013: Day 1 Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 25, 2013

AVONDALE, LA - APRIL 25:  Ricky Barnes reacts after making a putt for birdie on the 15th hole during the first round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana on April 25, 2013 in Avondale, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Ricky Barnes tied the course record at TPC Louisiana by firing an eight-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the 2013 Zurich Classic.

Anything less, and he wouldn't have had the lead to himself. Boo Weekley and Lucas Glover are right on his heels after going seven under for their rounds.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan is playing in his first event since his stunning debut at the Masters, and he worked his way to a solid even-par round.

Check out the leaderboard and then the recap of the exciting first day of action. 


Round 1 Leaderboard—2013 Zurich Classic

Pos. Player Score
1. Ricky Barnes -8
T2. Boo Weekley -7
T2.  Lucas Glover -7 
T4. D.A. Points -6 
T4.  Morgan Hoffman  -6 
T6.  Charlie Beljan  -5 
T6.  Matt Jones  -5 
T6.  Luke Guthrie  -5 
T6. Ernie Els -5
T6. Rickie Fowler -5
T6. Billy Horschel -5
T6. Chris Kirk -5
T6. Stephen Ames -5
T6. Jimmy Walker -5
T6. Bobby Gates -5

*View the full leaderboard at PGA.com.

*All stats via PGATour.com.

Heavy rains soaking the course on Wednesday—but weather improving for Thursday—created nice scoring situations. The greens were soft, and players took advantage. 

No one took advantage more than Barnes, who teed off in the first group. He got off to a nice start with an eagle on the par-five second hole. However, he saved most of his magic for the back nine. Barnes picked up a birdie and a bogey on the front to finish the side at two under. 

He then birdied the par-five 11th as well as holes 13-16 before finishing off his round with this solid approach and putt to close out with a birdie:

Barnes hit every single fairway on the day and followed through with solid putting as he finished the day with 2.4 strokes gained-putting.

This strong play was a pleasant surprise from Barnes. Heading into this event, he had missed the cut in seven of his past eight events.

Barnes pulled this off after his wife gave birth to the couple's second child on Monday (h/t Trey Iles of Nola.com). It's impossible not to root for him to cap off his magical week by carding his first PGA Tour win. 

Meanwhile, Boo Weekley teed off later in the day, and he was on his game. 

Weekley missed just one fairway, and he hit 15 greens in regulation, often in great shape. Weekley did not fire one bogey on the day, and he didn't leave a lot of work to be done with his putter. 

Weekley has been streaky this year, but it was just over a month ago that he finished second in Tampa Bay on the strength of a final-round 63. 

Meanwhile, Lucas Glover began his day on No. 10 and finished that side at two under. He then caught fire as he birdied the first four holes of his second nine.

He cooled off a bit and finished his remaining holes at one under to sit in second place at the end of the first day. 

Glover is another golfer who had to reverse recent trends to post this performance. He had missed the cut in three of his past four tournaments. That includes missing the cut at the Heritage last week. 

The reason for his success on this day is simple: He was lights out with his putter, finishing the day with 3.1 strokes gained-putting. 

Given that putting work, it is no surprise that a Taylor Made employee happily posted this tweet: 

Another golfer to keep an eye on is Ernie Els. Els did card a 13th-place finish at the Masters, but he's missed the cut in two of his past three events.

In that stretch, he has struggled with his accuracy off the tee and in hitting greens in regulation. His ball-striking on this day was solid, as he hit over 71 percent of his fairways and greens.

He also putted solidly, and this is always key for Els. Check out this 24-foot effort on No. 16:

Els had that handy flat-iron work going all round, and he finished his day with 1.7 strokes gained-putting. 

Els was runner-up here last year after losing in a playoff to Jason Dufner. If he keeps that excellent putting stroke rolling, he could run away with this tournament. 

Then, we have a golfer who is well out of contention but impressive nonetheless.

Tianlang Guan's lack of length is hurting him at this course, but he is still battling, and his masterful short game has led him to a solid even-par round.

With his putter anchored into his belly, he is drilling putt after putt, like this effort on the 11th:

Guan was two over through the first six holes. He didn't get rattled and fired three birdies and one bogey the rest of the way. The composure of this youngster is remarkable. 

All of this action promises an exciting tournament. Look for plenty of shuffling on the leaderboard and more low scores.