Thursday's golf: Munoz shoots 60 at Byron Nelson, record 2nd this season

Associated Press

McKinney, Texas — Sebastian Munoz shot a 12-under 60 in the opening round of the Byron Nelson on Thursday, following his only bogey with an impressive mid-round surge to become the first player in PGA Tour history with two rounds of 60 or better in the same season.

Munoz was at 2-under par a one-stroke penalty because of a wayward tee shot at the eighth hole. The 29-year-old Colombian, who lives in the Dallas area, then went 6-under in the next four holes. He made eagles at the par 5 No. 9 and No. 12 and sank 3-foot birdies in between.

Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, hits a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in McKinney, Texas, on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

In the middle of the fairway after his tee shot at the 18th hole, another par 5, Munoz missed the green to the right. But he made a nice flop shot and sank the round-ending 12-foot birdie.

Munoz also had a 60 in the opening round of the the RSM Classic at Seaside in Georgia in November, although that was a 10-under score. He went on to finish third.

TPC Craig Ranch, the second-year home of the Nelson, is about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas and 30 miles east of the University of North Texas, where Munoz went to school.

Munoz finished his round before two major winners from Dallas teed off in the afternoon in the same group, with a four-stroke lead over Mito Pereira and Peter Malnati among the earlier finishers.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, made his first individual start since winning the Masters five weeks ago. Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, ranked No. 9, played for the first time since his win at RBC Heritage the week after the Masters.

Scheffler and Spieth, who both played at the University of Texas, competed in their first PGA Tour events as teenagers at the Nelson.

LPGA Tour

Clifton, N.J. — Madelene Sagstrom shot a flawless 9-under 63 during a round she felt holes kept getting larger to take one-stroke lead over Megan Khang after the first round of the Cognizant Founders Cup on Thursday.

Nasa Hataoka, who won in Los Angeles in April before taking time off, was third after a 65 on the Upper Montclair Country Club course, roughly 10 miles from New York City.

Bianca Pagdanganan, Amy Yang and Giulia Molinaro were tied for fourth at 66, a shot ahead of group that included Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee. Two-time defending champion and top-ranked Jin Young Ko shot a 69.

Sagstrom, a runner-up last year in the Women's British Open, made birdies in batches, finishing with nine in a bogey-free round. The two-time European Solheim Cup from Sweden birdied the first four holes and had another run at Nos. 12-14.

Madelene Sagstrom lines up a putt on the 11th green during the first round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup golf tournament, Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Clifton, N.J.

The round was her best of the season and one shot off her career best of 62 in winning the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. Yuka Saso had the low round on tour this year, a 62 at the LPGA Hondo in Thailand in March.

Khang, who like Sagstrom played in the afternoon, was almost as good, making eight birdies on the course laid bare because of soft, slower-than-normal greens and a lack of wind.

The event, which is being played on its third course since 2019 — the pandemic canceled the 2020 edition, honors the 13 founding members of the LPGA Tour. The field of 144 will be cut to the low 70 and ties after the second round of the 72-hole tournament Friday.

Anna Davis, the 16-year-old who won the recent Augusta National Women’s Amateur, shot a 70 playing on a sponsor's exemption. She made the cut in the Palos Verdes Championship in California, which was won by Marina Alex.

PGA Champions Tour

Birmingham, Ala. — Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Wes Short Jr. after the opening round of the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.

Stricker, the 2019 champion, closed his bogey-free round with a birdie on No. 18 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Jimenez, the 2018 winner, started on the 10th tee and broke out of a 10-player logjam at 4 under with a birdie on No. 8.

Short then joined him at 67 with a closing birdie on 18, his sixth along with one bogey.

Stricker, who was captain of the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits last year, certainly played like the guy who had excelled on recent trips to Birmingham.

Stricker lost on the first hole of a playoff last year to Alex Cejka and had a health scare that sidelined him for six months. He was hospitalized for nearly two weeks and dropped 25 pounds.

The tournament wasn't played in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Stricker missed a chance at a third straight birdie by inches on No. 14.

Charles Schwab Cup points leader Steven Alker, two-time PGA Tour major winner John Daly and World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els were among the group at 4-under 68.

Daly had six birdies and two bogeys, going bogey-birdie on his final two holes. His highest finish of the year was 27th at Hualalai.

Els had only one bogey.

Alker, who has won two tournaments and taken two others to playoffs, eagled the par-5 13th hole. He was even through the first nine.

Shane Bertsch had eight birdies and four bogeys for his 68, with a particularly up and down back nine. Bertsch had three bogeys on those holes and still finished them 1 under.