Palmer rides hot putter to Deutsche Bank lead


NORTON, Mass. – When Ryan Palmer’s 18-foot birdie putt on his final hole of the day hit the cup and dropped, it came as no surprise.

After all, for much of the day he simply couldn’t miss on the greens at TPC Boston.

Palmer took only 21 putts en route to an 8-under 63 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and after the first round he leads Keegan Bradley by two shots as he looks to win for the first time since 2010.

“I don’t know what to say about it. It was one of my best (rounds) of the year for sure,” Palmer said. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever had 21 putts in one round, and 15 one-putts.”

Palmer’s stat line with the flat stick included going a perfect 16-for-16 from inside 15 feet.

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After a bogey on No. 10, his first hole of the day, he birdied six of his next eight holes – including four in a row from Nos. 15-18 – to make the turn in 5-under 30.

“I’ve been putting good for a while. My short putting has been good; my lag putting has been better than it has been in the past,” Palmer said. “It’s been a matter of hitting the iron shots close, giving myself more chances, and I was able to do that today.”

Palmer has a pair of runner-up finishes this season, including a playoff loss at the Honda Classic, and he contended at the PGA Championship before tying for fifth. After taking TPC Boston by storm in the opening round, he has once again added his name to the conversation for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick, with Tom Watson rounding out his squad with three additions Tuesday.

“(Watson) keeps saying that he wants hot players, guys that are playing well at the end,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got a shot. ... I told (assistant captain) Andy North, ‘I’m going to make it hard on you guys this week.’”