Chalmers (66) takes early lead at Congressional


While several big names struggled on the first day of the Quicken Loans National, one veteran was able to tame Congressional Country Club to the tune of a 5-under 66. Here's how things look after one round in our nation's capital, as Australia's Greg Chalmers holds a one-shot lead over two players:

Leaderboard: Greg Chalmers (-5), Ricky Barnes (-4), Freddie Jacobson (-4), Patrick Reed (-3), Erik Compton (-3), Bill Haas (-3), Tyrone Van Aswegen (-3)

What it means: It’s been a bit of a struggle this season for Chalmers, who has missed four of his last six cuts and whose lone top-10 finish came at the McGladrey Classic in November. He'll take the lead into the second round but a number of strong players lurk close by, including Compton, who was a runner-up just two weeks ago at the U.S. Open, and Haas, who won here a year ago.

Round of the day: Chalmers opened his round on the back nine and started with a birdie on No. 10, making the turn in 3 under after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. He dropped his lone shot of the day on the second hole, then reeled off three straight birdies on holes 7-9 to grab sole possession of the lead with a 66. One of the best putters on Tour, he took just 25 putts to complete his opening round.

Best of the rest: Barnes remains among the best players on Tour without a win, and he got off to a hot start with three straight birdies on holes 6-8. He got it to 5 under with circles on Nos. 12 and 13 before dropping his lone shot of the day at the par-5 16th. Barnes found 16 of 18 greens in regulation and is in the mix early as he looks for his first top-10 finish since the Puerto Rico Open in March.

Biggest disappointment: The grouping of Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth was expected to create some fireworks at Congressional, but instead all three struggled to get anything going in the opening round. Day carded a 2-over 73, while Woods and Spieth both shot 74 – scores that could have been higher if not for second-nine rallies from all three players, as each made the turn in 4-over 39.

Main storyline heading into Friday: While it remains to be seen what Chalmers does with a target on his back, the main second-round story will still be Woods, who is making his first competitive start since back surgery in March. While the rust was evident during his opening round, three birdies across his final six holes created some momentum and gave the tournament host a shot at making the cut with a strong second round.

Quote of the day: “The back is great. No issues at all, no twitches or nothing. That’s why I let it go with a couple drives.” – Woods