2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship Day 1

Irving Texas – James Nitties and Ken Duke share the lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after the First Round with a score of 5-under par 65.

Four players came in next with a score of 66 – Scott McCarron, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, and Brad Adamonis.

It is not always a benefit to lead after the first round, with a leader winning only 5 of 20 events on the PGA TOUR this season.  Of the 55 Byron Nelson events, only 7 have won after leading on the first day.

 

Defending champion Adam Scott score a 71, 1-over par, attempting to become the first repeat winner of the HP Byron Nelson Championship since 1978-80 when Tom Watson won 3 in a row.

James Nitties finished the opening round with 4 birdies in a row.  Co-leader Ken Duke got 4 of his 6 birdies also in the second half of the course. Duke is a big fan of this event, saying “Well, this tournament is special, just because I’m from Arkansas and I’ve been to Dallas quite a bit growing up and stuff like that.  It feels like home to me. Just really enjoy it.  The people here I’ve gotten to know really well and have really supported me. It’s been really fun.  The golf course is in really good shape this year.  Last year it was new, and this year it’s really good.”

Other players echoed Duke’s sentiments about the course, Charles Howell III stated, “And then 18 today is more friendly when the wind is just straight in, so I was able to just have a wedge into the green.  The greens were rolling so well this morning.  If you got going, you could make some putts.” He continued, “On a golf course like this, I think you’ve got to drive the ball well.  I think the guy over the course of four days that drives it well will do good around here, just because the greens are so nice now that you’re going to have your chances.”