BOISE, Idaho — Sam Ryder, Adam Schenk and Keith Mitchell each shot 7-under 64 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Web.com Tour Finals’ Albertsons Boise Open.
Ryder birdied the first four holes and five of the first six at Hillcrest Country Club. The 26-year-old former Stetson player, 31st on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, bogeyed the ninth, birdied the 12th and eagled the par-5 16th.
“I birdied my first four holes, so that never hurts,” Ryder said. “I just drove it well, drove it in the fairway for the most part, and I just holed a couple putts early. That’s kind of been the difference maker for me — the putter. When I manage to make some putts, I’ve been able to put some good scores together. So seeing some putts go in early jump-started the round for me.”
Schenk had nine birdies — the last a 35-footer on the par-4 18th — and two bogeys. The 24-year-old former Purdue player was 40th on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list.
“Got off to a nice start early. Didn’t make many mistakes out there really,” Schenk said. “Hit a lot of wedges at the pin. On this golf course, if you hit wedges good, you can shoot a good number because you have so many of them. And made a couple long putts like on the last hole, so if you can some putts and hit your wedges good, you’re going to shoot a low one.”
Mitchell eagled the par-4 ninth and had six birdies and a bogey. The 24-year-old former Georgia player was 70th on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list.
“I was kind of in control of my game,” Mitchell said. “I started off a little shaky and had to drop on the second hole. I missed a couple of greens to start, but my short game was doing well today, and it kept me in it. I made a few putts the rest of the way.”
The tournament is the second in the four-event series features the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and some non-members with enough PGA Tour money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had he been eligible.
The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.
“It’s crazy … three more rounds away from potentially getting a PGA Tour card, which sounds kind of crazy,” Schenk said. “You can’t get ahead of yourself, but if I play three more solid rounds, I’ll have a good chance, but there will be some low scores this week.”
Rory Sabbatini Ryan Brehm, Brett Drewitt and Hiroshi Iwata shot 65, and Stuart Appleby, Scott Stallings, Andrew Johnston, Ollie Schniederjans, Trey Mullinax, Xander Schauffele, Julian Etulain, Matt Jones, Rob Oppenheim and Luke Guthrie were at 66.
Bryson DeChambeau opened with a 69. He won the series-opening DAP Championship last week in a playoff in Ohio to wrap up a PGA Tour card.
Defending champion Martin Piller had five bogeys in a 75.