Food poisoning, a car accident, an ace that doesn’t count and a record-tying feat mark early action in Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Taylor Moore began his week by getting food poisoning and ended his first round with an eagle as he and Matthew NeSmith tied the tournament course record to take the lead.
David Lipsky started his week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with a car accident and ended Thursday on the first page of the leaderboard.
Jay Haas, two years shy of his 70th birthday, showed he still has game to hang with the youngsters on the PGA Tour.
Robert MacIntyre made a hole-in-one but it doesn’t count in the record books.
Collin Morikawa holed out twice in a five-hole span.
And all of this came before the afternoon wave started to tee off in the first round at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana, the PGA Tour’s only official team event.
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Welcome to the Big Easy adventures.
“I was in the ER yesterday morning,” Moore said after he and NeSmith shot a 12-under 60 in Four ball to grab the lead. “I had food poisoning Tuesday night up until midday yesterday. So just got an IV and some nausea medicine. Finally ate something this morning, which was nice.
“Got into a little rhythm there at the end, which was cool. But no more Cajun for the next couple days, but some soup sounds pretty good at the moment.”
Added NeSmith: “Honestly, we were just trying to finish 18 holes upright. And all of a sudden, we started catching a touch of a rhythm, started making a few putts, started finding the round a little bit. We finished 18 holes, and that was the goal.”
The format switches to the more difficult Foursomes (alternate shot) for the second round; Four ball will be used in the third round, Foursomes in the final round.
Moore and NeSmith were one shot ahead of the teams of Aaron Rai/Lipsky, Tommy Gainey/Robert Garrigus, and Doc Redman/Sam Ryder.
It was a much better spot to be in for Lipsky, who on Tuesday was rear-ended on his way to the golf course as he pulled out from an inside lane to avoid a car that had broken down.
“I’m fine,” Lipsky said. “I started changing lanes, and the guy behind me, I guess, wasn’t paying attention and slammed on the brakes and smoked me. I’m all right. I think the other two drivers were fine.
“It was a little bit of a hectic beginning to the week.”
Jay Haas plays from the 13th tee during the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
Haas, 68, began his 799th week at a PGA Tour event by teaming with his son, Bill, 39, to shoot 65. The winner of nine PGA Tour titles and 18 PGA Tour Champions events hadn’t played in a PGA Tour event since 2010, hadn’t made a PGA Tour cut since 2006, and hadn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 1993 Texas Open.
But the elder Haas made four birdies to his son’s three.
“We hammed-and-egged it. We bounced back and forth,” the older Haas said. “I had a ball today. I played well. I thought I was helpful and all that, so it was nice. Hopefully I can continue that the rest of the week and we’ll see what we can do.
“It was fun today.”
Lefty MacIntyre didn’t look too excited about his tee shot on the par-3, 207-yard 14th but the ball took a nice bounce from just in front of the green and rolled right into the cup for his first ace in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. MacIntyre, who used a 6-iron, is denied a place in the record books because statistics in team events are not included.
As for Morikawa, he holed out from 94 yards on the par-4 14th and chipped in from 40 feet on the par-3 17th as he and Viktor Hovland, the first team in tournament history to feature two top-5 players in the official world rankings, were leading the tournament in the early going.
But the two were even-par on their final eight holes and shot 65.
“Even with a kind of mediocre day,” Morikawa said, “to still be at 7 under, we’re still right there with formats to come.”
And likely some more zany incidents.