Charles Schwab Challenge 2019: Tony Finau Leads, Jordan Spieth 2nd After Round 1

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - MAY 23:   Tony Finau of the United States plays his shot from the sixth tee during the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club on May 23, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tony Finau is off to a strong start at the Charles Schwab Challenge, shooting a 64 in Round 1 to lead the field at six strokes under par.

Jordan Spieth sits one stroke back in second place alongside Roger Sloan, while Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker are also in the hunt after Thursday's action at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

In the first tournament since last week's PGA Championship, big names like Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele are trying to survive a competitive field to add another title to their resume. 

     

Round 1 Leaderboard

1. Tony Finau (-6)

T2. Jordan Spieth (-5)

T2. Roger Sloan (-5)

T4. J.J. Henry (-3)

T4. Scott Brown (-3)

T4. Chesson Hadley (-3)

T4. Jason Dufner (-3)

T4. Jimmy Walker (-3)

T4. Peter Uihlein (-3)

T4. Trey Mullinax (-3)

T4. Nick Watney (-3)

T4.  Jonas Blixt (-3)

Full leaderboard and stats courtesy of PGATour.com.

      

Finau got himself the early lead Thursday thanks to his 64, which featured seven birdies and one bogey. The difference for him was impressive work on the green:

The changed grip seemed to make a significant difference. He finished the round with 3.037 strokes gained in putting, which could go a long way with his average drive of 325 yards.

Spieth also put himself in contention for the tournament after shooting a 65 to get to five under.

Though the 25-year-old has struggled with consistency, he displayed his full skill set in Round 1 by getting out of trouble in the woods as well as making long putts:

His putting has been especially valuable to keep his scores low in the past couple of weeks:

He ended up with eight birdies in Round 1, with his double bogey on No. 18 preventing an even better round. After finishing tied for third at the PGA Championship, he has a chance to keep up the momentum and earn his first win since 2017 this week.

Spieth is tied for second with Sloan, who had six birdies and a bogey while showcasing his accuracy throughout the day. He reached the green in regulation in 15 of his 18 holes.

Ryan Palmer sits a few strokes back after shooting 68 in Round 1, but he has the distinction of being the only player who didn't have a bogey Thursday.

"Never really got in trouble," he said after the round, per Mike McAllister of PGATour.com.

On the other end of the spectrum were players like Fowler, who had zero birdies and four bogeys in a disappointing first round.

Bryson DeChambeau finished with a 72, but it could've been worse without this hole-out from the bunker:

In the next three days you can expect the field to see a lot of changes on the leaderboard. The tournament will continue Friday with the first tee times at 7 a.m. local time.

Related

    Reed Not Worried About Team Chemistry After Ryder Cup Drama

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Reed Not Worried About Team Chemistry After Ryder Cup Drama

    Alex Myers
    via Golf Digest

    Woods Commits to Play in 2020 Genesis Open at Riviera

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Woods Commits to Play in 2020 Genesis Open at Riviera

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Should Tiger Pair Himself with at Prez Cup?

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Who Should Tiger Pair Himself with at Prez Cup?

    Golf
    via Golf

    Fowler WDs After Contracting Infection on Honeymoon

    Golf logo
    Golf

    Fowler WDs After Contracting Infection on Honeymoon

    Golf Channel
    via Golf Channel