Bo Van Pelt fired a bogey-free four-under 67 to seize a one-shot lead after the opening round of the AT&T National on Thursday at the Congressional Country Club course.
“I got off to a good start,” Van Pelt said. “I thought 10 through 14 I had hit a bunch of good shots and had some good birdie looks and didn’t make any, and about a 25-footer for par on 15 that I made, just kind of kept my round going.”
Van Pelt made the best of some difficult conditions. He holed out from the fairway for an eagle on a day when just seven players managed to post scores in the 60s.
Tiger Woods wasn’t one of those as he settled for a one-over 72. The average score was about 73.5.
“I played well,” Singh said. “I hit a lot of good shots, made a lot of birdies, and finally I made a couple of putts, which I guess is the key to playing good golf ... you’ve got to make putts, and I did that.”
The 37-year-old Van Pelt, who has five top-10 finishes this year, has one PGA Tour victory, coming at the 2009 US Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
Defending champion Nick Watney is part of a large group tied for eighth at one-under 70.
Woods hit 11 greens in regulation but got into problems in the bunkers.
His approach sailed into the bunker right of the green on the 15th hole. His shot barely made it out of the sand. He then flubbed a chip shot, which left him 7 feet from the cup for bogey.
“It was baked out, the ball was springy and it’s hard to believe that four-under par is leading,” Woods said.