Skip to main content

Winds wreck field, scores in opener

Getty Images

As the PGA Tour's 2017 opener winds down, the first event of the new season on the Tour is off the ground - and the scores aren't pretty.

The Bahamas Exuma Classic runs Sunday-Wednesday this week, and players were greeted with stiff breezes, that some felt bordered on unplayable, on a track that lines the Atlantic Ocean.

"There's no strategy," Tommy Gainey told Golf Channel after playing his first 13 holes in 8 over. "Name another tournament where they do play in 40 mph winds."

Opening-round scores ballooned amid the swirling breezes, with the scoring average for the morning wave above 80. Two players failed to break 90, while none were able to break par. Rookie Tom Lovelady, who shared the early lead after an even-par 72, relied on a positive attitude to bounce back from bogeys on three of his first six holes.

Full-field scores from The Bahamas Exuma Classic

"Everybody has to play in the same conditions. It's the same course," Lovelady said. "That was a big thing for my caddie and I. We just tried to have fun with it, just laugh at the bad shots. It happens. Just have fun with the good ones as well."

Notable players who struggled in the breezy conditions included PGA Tour veterans Robert Allenby (81), Will Wilcox (86) and Brendon de Jonge (89).

While tournament officials deemed conditions playable enough to continue without delay, Gainey believed that his ball was "oscillating quite a bit" on the paspalum greens at Sandals Emerald Bay.

"It's hard to put into words," Gainey said. "This is not golf. This isn't what people want to see. They don't want to see people shooting 86."