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Solid putting, new driver key for Chalmers (66)

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BETHESDA, Md. – Statistically, Greg Chalmers is one of the PGA Tour’s best putters and his round on Thursday dovetailed with that reality, with the Australian needing only 25 putts on his way to an opening 66.

Just don’t tell Chalmers good putting can overcome all other weaknesses.

“(Putting) is part of the game that you need to do well if you want to be successful. If you look at who wins tournaments each week, they do a lot more than that,” said Chalmers, who leads by one stroke at the Quicken Loans National.

“I’m a great story for that because I led (the Tour) in strokes gained-putting last year but finished 122nd in FedEx Cup (regular-season points).”

In fact, Chalmers gave credit to a new Titleist driver for his solid start at Congressional. With a driver he put in play this week, he averaged 283 yards off the tee (5 yards longer than his season average) and hit 10 of 14 fairways (which is well ahead of his 57 percent season average).

“I hit every fairway on my first nine holes, and I barely missed (four) on the other nine,” he said. “I drove the ball probably the best I’ve driven it all year.”

His only miscue came at the par-3 second hole, and he closed his round with four consecutive birdies.