MIAMI (AFP) — Americans Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey each fired a six-under-par 65 in windy conditions to share the lead after Thursday’s opening round of the US PGA Bermuda Championship.
Hagy birdied four of his first five holes while Ramey birdied three of his last four in a bogey-free round to set the pace at Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton, Bermuda.
“It laid down a little bit for us,” Hagy said of the wind. “I hit a lot of good putts and they went in. I tried to keep my head down and make some good shots.”
There were 13 players who were unable to finish their opening round before darkness who will complete play Friday before starting their second rounds.
American Vincent Whaley, who finished just before sunset, was third on 66 after an eagle and two birdies in his last four holes.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee, South African Garrick Higgo, Ireland’s Seamus Power, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, England’s David Skinns and American Justin Lower shared fourth on 67.
Hagy, Ramey and Whaley all seek their first tour title.
Hagy, who began on the back nine, birdied the 11th through 14th holes before a double bogey at 15. He answered with a birdie at the par-5 17th and added back-to-back birdies at the second and third plus the fifth and sixth holes before a bogey at the par-5 seventh.
He entered the event after playing last week in Japan.
“Definitely some weird wakeups in the middle of the night, 2 or 3 in the morning, and trying to go back to sleep,” Hagy said.
Ramey, making only his sixth US PGA appearance, was another 10th tee starter. He made three birdies in a row starting at the 17th then closed with birdies at the sixth, seventh and ninth holes.
“It was a grind out there,” Ramey said. “The wind might have been blowing a little harder this morning, but it was still going really hard this afternoon. I was just doing the best I could do to keep the ball in position.”
The early wind was punishing, with England’s Matt Fitzpatrick saying: “This is the hardest wind I’ve ever played in. You see winds like this, but normally you don’t play in them. As we started it was brutal.”
American Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion and top-ranked player in the field at 24th in the world, opened with three birdies and eagled from 210 yards at the par-5 17th in shooting 68.
After sending his tee shot into a penalty area, Reed took a drop and sent a 6-iron into the cup.
“It was interesting,” Reed said. “This is a lot of wind but it’s fun. This is one of those golf.