Redman, Stallings, Kisner share lead at Rocket Mortgage Classic

Doc Redman, runner-up at last year's Mortgage Classic and still chasing a first PGA Tour win, made a quiet start at the Detroit Golf Club.

Doc Redman plays a shot during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament.   -  AP

Doc Redman collected seven birdies in his last eight holes to grab a share of the first-round lead with Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on Thursday.

Redman, runner-up at last year's Mortgage Classic and still chasing a first PGA Tour win, made a quiet start at the Detroit Golf Club, picking up a single birdie on his outward nine.

But after taking his only bogey of the round at the 10th, the 22-year-old caught fire by carding birdies the rest of the way home except the par-five 14th for a seven-under 65.

Redman said he isn't intimidated by playing alongside the world's best despite his age.

“I've got a lot of experience and I feel very comfortable around the guys and around the courses,” he said.

“I'm just navigating my way around the PGA Tour.”

Stallings got off to a birdie/bogey start but was error-free the rest of the way, capping his round with back-to-back birdies to join fellow American Redman atop the leaderboard.

Starting on the back nine, Kisner got hot late with four birdies over his final five holes to card a seven-under 65 as he looks for this fourth win on the PGA Tour.

 

Lurking one back on six under 66 are seven players including Bryson DeChambeau, who had a roller-coaster round that included an eagle, eight birdies and four bogeys.

He would have joined the leaders if not for a bogey on his last.

“There was obviously a lot of highs and a lot of lows,” said the 26-year-old American, who has been crushing balls since adding muscle during the PGA Tour's three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“But if I can keep hitting it straight, hitting some greens and making the putts like I am, it's going to be a fun week.”

Rickie Fowler headlines a group two behind at five under while world number six Webb Simpson, the highest-ranked player in the field, returned a four-under 68 to sit three off the pace.

Simpson won last month's RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina but pulled out of the Travelers Championship after his daughter, who later tested negative, showed symptoms of COVID-19.

The fourth PGA Tour event since the season returned from its coronavirus shutdown, the tournament is being played without fans. A sixth player, American Chad Campbell, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

 

Atwal lies 68th

Returning to competitive golf after four months, India’s Arjun Atwal opened his campaign at the Rocket Mortgage Classis with a round of two-under 70.

Atwal was Tied-68th, five shots behind the three co-leader led by Doc Redman, Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner, who shot seven-under 65 each.

Atwal, who said the course suited his eye, had a birdie chance on first from under seven-and-a-half feet, but missed and then on second, he missed a par putt from six-and-a-half feet after going into the rough from the tee.

He followed with a birdie from 11 feet on fourth, holed a testy par from 13 feet on sixth before coming out well from bunker to get a birdie on seventh and turned in one-under.

On the back nine, he holed from 21 feet on 10th for birdie, missed from inside three feet for par on 11th and then again rolled in a birdie from 12 feet.

He missed birdie from inside six feet on 14th and missed par from just over five feet on 18th.

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