Ryder Cup players toil in PGA Tour season opener

Thu Oct 9, 2014 11:40pm EDT
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(Reuters) - South Korea's Bae Sang-moon plundered the par-fives to join American Andres Gonzales in the lead after the first round at the $6 million Frys.com Open in Napa, California on Thursday.

Bae birdied all four of the par-fives at Silverado Country Club in the wine country north of San Francisco in an ideal start to the 2014-15 PGA Tour season.

They headed Martin Laird by one stroke, while fellow Briton Lee Westwood began slowly with a 73, barely a week after being part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team.

Defending champion Jimmy Walker, who played on the losing American team at Gleneagles, started even more poorly with a 75.

His team mate Hunter Mahan was considerably better with a

respectable 70, while Matt Kuchar carded 71.

The 28-year-old Bae, a 12-times international winner before joining the PGA Tour, captured the Byron Nelson Championship in 2013, but is coming off a mediocre season in which he finished 122nd in the ranking.

He put all that behind him, though, with five birdies on his outward nine.

Gonzales, who played on a crisp morning that quickly warmed to an ideal autumn day, matched Bae’s seven birdies and one bogey.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood hits out a bunker on the eighth hole during his fourballs 40th Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles in Scotland September 27, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville