After a night of heavy rains in the Dallas area, players were afforded lift, clean and place conditions for the first round at TPC Four Seasons. Here’s the skinny heading into the second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, where several players were able to take advantage of their preferred lies, but none moreso than Keegan Bradley:
What it means: Bradley quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard, creating a three-shot advantage while breaking the course record. Schwartzel sits close behind with several players shooting 66 or better, as those in the morning wave fared much better than those who faced a stiffer wind in the afternoon.
Round of the day: Taking full advantage of the lift, clean and place conditions, Bradley ended his round with an eagle and two birdies to set a course record, carding a 10-under 60 that broke by one shot a record held by four others, including Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer. It marked the lowest score of his PGA Tour career, and improbably Bradley fired the ultra-low round despite a pair of bogeys. In total, his scorecard read as follows: one eagle, two bogeys, five pars and a whopping 10 birdies. He took just 24 putts despite hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation.
Best of the rest: Like Bradley, Schwartzel was able to take advantage of calm conditions during the morning wave. The South African made his way around TPC Four Seasons without dropping a shot, carding seven birdies en route to an opening 63 that put him in second place, three shots behind the leader. Making his debut in Dallas, the former Masters champion reached each of the 18 greens in regulation Thursday.
Biggest disappointment: Defending champion Jason Dufner has struggled to get his 2013 season on track, and Thursday’s round at TPC Four Seasons did little to help his cause. Despite holing out for eagle on the first hole, his 10th of the day (more on that below), Dufner struggled to an even-par 70 that included just two birdies against four bogeys. Still in search of his first top-10 finish of the season, the two-time PGA Tour champion will need a strong effort in the second round simply to secure a spot in the weekend.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Can Bradley back up his record-setting performance? A winner here two years ago, he certainly knows what it takes to succeed in Dallas, and playing again alongside friend and occasional Twitter combatant Dufner will likely help calm whatever nerves exist on the first tee. He’ll need to keep up the pace, though, with major champions Schwartzel and Cabrera close behind.
Shot of the day: In a rare combination, Dufner receives both “biggest disappointment” and “shot of the day” honors. After turning in 2-over 37, the defending champ found the fairway at the par-4 first hole and quickly leveled his score for the day. From 129 yards, Dufner hit a wedge that bounced just past the hole before drawing back to the pin, dropping for an improbable eagle. He went on to shoot an even-par 70.
Quote of the day: 'First and foremost I want to win the tournament, and this puts me in great position to do so.” – Bradley, whose previous low on the PGA Tour was a 63.