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PGA TOUR rookie Adam Long soared up the leaderboard in round one of the Desert Classic, scribbling a 9-under-par 32-31=63 while battling the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST, good for sole possession of second place at day's end.

Long is making the sixth start of his PGA TOUR career. He opened with a 6-under 66 in R1 of this season's Safeway Open but every other round has gone for 69 or worse. Long figured things out today when he striped 11 (of 14) fairways and pelted 13 greens in regulation. It didn't look like a special round when he opened with a bogey but it was a clean card after that. The highlight was a hole out for eagle at the par-5 fourth hole. While this easily shatters his previous low on the PGA TOUR, he has posted four other rounds of 63 on the Web.com circuit. That includes another opening-round 63 in California (2018 Ellie Mae Classic). He followed that up with rounds of 66-66-70 to finish T4 that week.
Jan 17 - 8:36 PM

Adam Svensson started his week at La Quinta Country Club and worked his way toward a bogey-free, 6-under-par 35-31=66 during round one of the Desert Classic, currently just inside the top 10 on the live leaderboard.

The Canadian missed just one (of 14) fairways today and then landed 15 greens in regulation. He took 28 swipes with the flat stick even though he holed out for birdie at the par-4 second hole. Svensson is making his tournament debut this week but that didn't bother him today. The 25-year-old earned his first career lead or co-lead on the PGA TOUR last week (R1 61 at the Sony Open). He backpedaled in R2 with a 4-over 74 and finished T43 by week's end. Gamers should take note of this early trend of fast starts.
Jan 17 - 8:25 PM

Alex Cejka concocted a bogey-free, 6-under-par 33-33=66 during round one of the Desert Classic, tossing his name up the leaderboard while facing off with the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST.

The Las Vegas resident is making his 12th appearance at the Desert Classic. Highlights include top 15s in 2011 and 2015 but he's finished T30 or worse in all other nine trips. Cejka knew this was going to be a special round early in the day when he holed out for birdie at the par-4 first hole. He added a second hole out for birdie just two holes later. Despite the pair of hole outs, Cejka still needed 26 putts to finish his round. Cejka has battled with some injuries over the last few years but he remains a strong fantasy option when healthy.
Jan 17 - 7:47 PM

Trey Mullinax made quick work of the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST during round one of the Desert Classic, turning in a bogey-free, 7-under-par 32-33=65 to sit inside the top 10 on the live leaderboard.

The big hitter piped 10 (of 14) fairways on his way toward 13 greens in regulation. He started on the 10th tee and needed 14 putts before the turn, circling three birdies in the process. He picked up the pace a little on his way into the clubhouse and that included a hole out for birdie at the par-3 third hole. This is Mullinax' third appearance at the event and his first two results were T50 and T57. Despite the easy scoring conditions, this is just his third sub-70 round in nine tries here. His low round at the Desert Classic is a 64 which he fired in R2 of last year's edition (La Quinta Country Club). That is the course he'll face on Saturday but first he'll face off with the more difficult Stadium Course at PGA WEST on Friday.
Jan 17 - 7:38 PM

Adam Hadwin started on the toughest of the three layouts but still managed a 7-under-par 34-31=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, placing him inside the top 5 on the live leaderboard with play winding down on Thursday.

The Canadian posted a T48 in his 2015 Desert Classic debut. He's turned it up a notch since the switch to the current course rotation, though, posting three straight top 10s. Hadwin started this week on the Stadium Course at PGA WEST which is playing more than a shot tougher than both of the other layouts. That didn't stop the Canuck from racking up six birdies and an eagle to offset a lone blemish. Most of the heavy lifting came on the homeward nine, including a pair of birdie conversions from the 16-to-22 foot range in addition to a 60-yard hole out for eagle at the par-5 16th. Hadwin is currently the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to golfers that teed off at the Stadium Course today. Playing his 17th round at this event, this is his seventh round recorded at 66 or better.
Jan 17 - 7:23 PM

Wyndham Clark cruised to a bogey-free, 7-under-par 32-33=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, good for an early seat inside the top 10 but five off the pacesetter Phil Mickelson.

Getting his week started at La Quinta Country Club, Clark peppered 15 greens in regulation and paid off seven birdies. He's making his tournament debut this week but he likely feels comfortable in the desert since he's set up shop in Las Vegas, playing out of TPC Summerlin. The University of Oregon standout is still searching for his breakout week on the big stage. His previous low is a solo 17th (2017 Sanderson Farms Championship). That remains his only top 25 in 14 career starts but that could easily change by week's end. Next up, he'll head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday. This may be his new best on the PGA TOUR but it falls three shy of his personal best on the Web.com Tour (R3/2018 Lincoln Land Championship). He backed it up with a 67 to finish T5 that week.
Jan 17 - 7:14 PM

Martin Laird is making his first start of the new year but showed no signs of rust as he sprinted to a 7-under-par 33-32=65 during round one of the Desert Classic, placing him five shots off the torrid pace set by Phil Mickelson.

Laird took a lot of stress off himself by splitting 13 (of 14) fairways and from there he was able to land 16 greens in regulation. The field is currently tearing through the Tournament Course (69.57) but this beats the field average by over 4.5 strokes. Laird is no stranger to this event as he's making his 12th start in Palm Springs with a five-pack of top 25s on his tournament resume. If there was any rust in his game it came with the putter as he needed 27 putts on his way around the Nicklaus Tourney course. That's not such a high number in most events but this event presents pristine conditions and easy pin placements. This is Laird's lowest lap at this event since a 64 during round three of the 2011 edition.
Jan 17 - 6:15 PM

Phil Mickelson was flirting with 59 during round one of the Desert Classic but settled for a bogey-free, 12-under-par 30-30=60 while battling La Quinta Country Club to match his career-low round and lead the field early in Palm Springs.

Mickelson may have fooled gamers with his pre-tournament tweet that read, "I’m excited to start another year on tour at the Desert Classic! Although - I’m a bit rusty, I’m also fresh and ready to get started." The rust disappeared quickly after the morning fog delay as he striped 10 (of 14) fairways and pelted 14 greens. It was a hot putter that sealed the deal as he needed just 21 putts today, including just nine on the homeward nine. Highlights included an eagle at the par-5 sixth and a chip-in birdie at the par-4 14th. This is the third time in his career he's posted a round of 60 on the PGA TOUR with both of the previous instances coming at TPC Scottsdale (2005, 2013). Mickelson has converted 8 of his last 15 first-round leads/co-leads into victories but just one of his last seven.
Jan 17 - 6:08 PM

Curtis Luck roared out of the gate during round one of the Desert Classic, carding a bogey-free, 8-under-par 32-32=64 while taking on La Quinta Country Club, placing him inside the top three on the live leaderboard.

The Aussie entered the week with four straight missed cuts worldwide and then a pre-tourney WD last week at the Sony Open. A little time off served him well as he was firing on all cylinders today. Luck split nine (of 14) fairways and then landed 13 greens in regulation. Those numbers don't leap off the page but he did hole out for par at the opening par-4 first and needed just 23 putts to make his way around. It was a tidy short game that glued this round together. Luck's previous low on the PGA TOUR was a R3 67 during the 2017 Quicken Loans National. He did manage a 62 during R3 of the 2016 Western Australian Open (PGA TOUR of Australasia).
Jan 17 - 5:58 PM

Julian Suri underwent surgery for a core muscle injury and currently has no timetable for return.

Suri provided an update via social media by stating, "I’m excited to say I underwent surgery at the Vincera Institute this morning to repair a core muscle injury that has bothered me for the past 10 weeks I’m determined to come back stronger than ever..." Suri was an 11th-hour WD ahead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November. It seemed like a minor injury at the time but we now know that wasn't the case. The Duke University product has no status on the PGA TOUR but he did finish 35th in the Race to Dubai last year on the European Tour. The 27-year-old still provides a lot of value for dynasty gamers but we have no timetable for how soon he'll be able to return to action.
Jan 17 - 4:29 PM

The opening round of this week's Desert Classic was delayed 30 minutes and has now been delayed another 30 minutes with the opening tee times now scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.

Fog delays are a regular occurrence for this part of the schedule. Gamers should expect plenty more of these delays over the next month. Many golfers are antsy to get their 2019 schedule started but they'll have to wait a bit longer. That includes Mike Weir who is making his first start since a missed cut at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae (Web.com Tour) in August. He is the first scheduled tee time on La Quinta Country Club today, set to peg it with fellow Canadian, David Hearn. Weir is 9-for-16 here in Palm Springs but he's missed the cut in his last five starts at the event. He went 1-for-6 on the PGA TOUR last season.
Jan 17 - 12:00 PM

Morgan Hoffmann shook off the competitive rust down on the Web.com Tour and finished T24 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, his first start since last February.

Hoffmann started last season with a 3-for-9 record before shutting it down. Early in the season he found out he had muscular dystrophy and it wasn't trending in the right direction for him. After his last start (Honda Classic in late February) he took a trip to Nepal for a 90-day treatment program. It was a busy year for Hoffmann as he also launched his charity foundation and recently got engaged. Hoffmann has been granted a Major Medical Extension with 18 starts to earn 296.57 FedExCup Points. He is allotted a handful of Web.com Tour rehab starts if he wants them but with this week's T24 he may decide to ramp it up to the big stage sooner rather than later.
Jan 17 - 11:33 AM

Boo Weekley returned from a long injury layoff and finished T41 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

The 45-year-old has been out of action since the 2017 RBC Canadian Open. He had a mid-tourney WD just a month before that last start and cited tendinitis as the reason for his early exit. Making his first rehab start on the Web.com Tour, Weekley posted rounds of 74-67-70-73 this week. The three-time PGA TOUR winner finished 169th in the FedExCup standings during his last full season on TOUR (2016-17) so he'll need to rely on Past Champions status or sponsor's invites to get into fields on the big stage.
Jan 17 - 11:25 AM

Henrik Stenson labored to a 36-hole total of 2-under 142 which saw him miss the cut on his 2019 debut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC in the U.A.E..

The Swede was stymied by a pair of double bogeys in his first round (70), which wasted the four birdies he managed. In the second lap (72) he dropped just the one shot, but three par breakers was not enough with the course very susceptible to low scoring. It is his fifth missed cut in 14 starts on the course. Other notables that will join him in getting the weekend off include: 142- Robert Rock, Tyrrell Hatton, HaoTong Li … 143- Byeon Hun An ... 145- Thorbjorn Olesen ... 146- Paul Dunne ... 147- Kiradech Aphibarnrat ... 148- Andrew Johnston, Andrea Pavan.
Jan 17 - 9:37 AM

Dominic Foos conjured a 4-under-par 35-33=68 to hit the halfway stage of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the U.A.E. T9 on 8-under 136, four swings behind the leader Shane Lowry.

The youngest ever winner of a Challenge Tour event in 2015, having turned pro on his 17th birthday in 2014, he was a fine amateur (lowest ranked in his age group for his final three years at that level) and even finished T40 in the Nelson Mandela Championship aged 15. But three CT campaigns, despite four top three finishes, never got the German into the top 30 on the rankings. He plays this week on a National Spot (a glorified invite) and has the advantage of being attached to the nearby Els Club Dubai. So far he has taken advantage of both. As in round one he thrashed plenty of birdies. There were eight on Wednesday and six Thursday (at 4 and 8 on the front nine, 11, 13, 17 and 18 on the back); he dropped shots at the sixth and 16th. A golden opportunity awaits at the weekend for a youngster who is 4-for-20 at this level.
Jan 17 - 9:29 AM



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