Bowditch leads; Spieth slow out of gates at Nelson

RSS

There were plenty of low scores at TPC Four Seasons Resort, but the world No. 2 got off to a slow start on the greens after last week's strong performance. Here's how things look after the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, where Steven Bowditch leads by two:

Leaderboard: Steven Bowditch (-8), Jimmy Walker (-6), James Hahn (-5), Ryan Palmer (-5), Keegan Bradley (-4), John Merrick (-4)

What it means: Bowditch won last year in the Lone Star State, and he is again atop the standings after tying a career best. The fans came to see Jordan Spieth, though, and the Texan had several good looks at birdie, finding 16 of 18 greens in regulation. He only converted two of those chances en route to a 1-under 69, leaving him seven shots off the pace after a runner-up finish last week at Colonial.

Round of the day: Bowditch has only one top-10 finish since his win at the Valero Texas Open last year, but the Aussie made it look easy Thursday with a bogey-free 62. Bowditch birdied four of his first seven holes and made the turn in 30 before adding three more birdies from Nos. 12-16.

Best of the rest: Walker is making his 10th start at this event, but he has never finished better than T-23. That drought may end this week, as Walker opened with a 6-under 64 that included seven birdies. Walker was 2 under on his round before ending with a flurry, carding birdies on four of his last five holes including three in a row on Nos. 7-9.

Biggest disappointment: Gary Woodland was one of the pre-tournament favorites, but he'll have trouble making the cut after a 2-over 72. Woodland finished T-7 here a year ago but now trails by 10 shots after a round that included a double bogey on No. 17 and a triple-bogey 7 on No. 6.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Bowditch has a solid cushion, but Spieth will be the player to watch in the second round. He needed 33 putts to complete his opening round, but playing in the morning wave should have the benefit of some smoother putting surfaces as he looks to get into contention in his hometown event.

Shot of the day: Danny Lee gave the fans at the par-3 17th hole reason to cheer, holing his tee shot from 198 yards for a hole-in-one. The shot was one of two eagles on the day for Lee, who shot 67, and was the 25th ace on Tour this season.

Quote of the day: "Not a whole lot you can do with only two birdies in the round." - Spieth