Hanson Leads Opening Round At HP Byron Nelson

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Peter Hanson carded a 5-under 65 to lead the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the Four Seasons Resort in Irving.

The only previous time Hanson has led after a round on the PGA TOUR came at the 2012 Masters Tournament, where he held the outright lead following the third round. He went on to record a 1-over 73 to finish T3.

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First-round leaders have not fared well over the previous 60 playings of this tournament. Only seven players (eight times) have carried the opening-day lead on to victory, including Jason Day (2010), Scott Simpson (1993), Tom Watson (1979-80), Mark Hayes (1976), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1972), Earl Stewart (1961) and Don January (1956).

Only two players have won the tournament in wire-to-wire fashion – Mark Hayes in 1976 and Tom Watson in 1980.

David Duval posted a 4-under 66 in his eighth HP Byron Nelson Championship start. He owns

third-place finishes here in 1996 (3rd) and 2001 (T3). Most recently, he withdrew in 2012 after opening with matching rounds of 72.

Leishman has finished inside the top 12 in four of his five starts at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (T12-2013, T3- 2012, MC-2011, T12-2010, T8-2009).

Leishman’s opening-round scoring average at the HP Byron Nelson Championship is 67.00. His worst opening-round score here is an even-par 70 in 2011.

In 19 rounds at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, Leishman owns 16 rounds at par-or-better and 12 rounds in the 60s. A third-round 7-under 63 in 2009 represents his best round here.

Tim Wilkinson shares T2 honors with Marc Leishman and David Duval following a 4-under 66. His previous best score in three appearances at the HP Byron Nelson Championship was a 3-under 67 in rounds two and four in 2009 (T23).

Dallas resident Ryan Palmer, who lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship, carded an opening round 67. His last four opening-rounds at this event: 65 (2011), 64 (2012), 65 (2013), 67 (2014).

Palmer is making his 11th consecutive start at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, dating to 2004. Prior to his runner- up finish in 2011, T9 in 2012 and T33 in 2013, his only other made cut here was a T73 in 2006.

In what is becoming an annual tradition at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Palmer is once again relying solely on his caddie, James Edmondson, for his club of choice on each shot. On Thursday, Edmondson wasn’t even providing yardages to Palmer, just handing him the selected club.

Jordan Spieth, fresh off a T4 at THE PLAYERS Championship and runner-up finishes this year at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Masters Tournament, posted an even-par 70 Thursday. He is making his fourth start at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (T16/2010, T32/2011, T68/2013). Spieth owns six top-10 finishes in 15 starts on TOUR this season (2-Masters Tournament, T2-Puerto Rico Open, T4-THE PLAYERS, T7-Tampa Bay Championship, T9-RBC Heritage, 10-Valero Texas Open).

Hoping to follow in Jordan Spieth’s footsteps is sponsor exemption Scottie Scheffler, currently the No. 1 ranked junior in the Golfweek/Sagarin Boys rankings, the AJGA Polo rankings and the Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings. The three-time Texas UIL 4A individual champion, who has signed a letter of intent to play with the University of Texas, opened Thursday with a 1-over 71 (after sitting 4-over through 10 holes).

Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship and runner-up in 2013, opened with an even-par 70 in his fourth start at this event.

 

First-Round Leaderboard

Peter Hanson    65 (-5)

Marc Leishman 66 (-4)

David Duval       66 (-4)

Tim Wilkinson    66 (-4)