WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — A rolling blog of the Greenbrier Classic’s opening round Thursday:
5:52 p.m. The Mickelson Mauling continues as he overshoots the 18th green. That leads to a bogey and a 4-over finish. Currently he’s tied for 137th at the Greenbrier.
5:41 p.m. Phil’s getting killed on the par-5 17th hole. Went into the bunker and three-putted for a freaking 8. Now he’s 3 over for the day.
5:36 p.m. Kenny Perry’s not over the hill, but neither is his 54-foot birdie putt on No. 18. His ball left atop the hump, Perry has a tough 20-footer for par upcoming … annnnnnnnnd it won’t fall. He closes the round 2 under.
5:11 p.m. After completing a 5-under round that ties him for fifth place, BYU product Daniel Summerhays won’t mind playing Sunday.
4:33 p.m. Neal Lancaster closes at 5-under 65. His previous best rounds this year were 67s at Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Seniors PGA Championship. He has momentarily bumped Kenny Perry off the porch as Thursday’s best old guy.
3:47 p.m. Neal Lancaster on No. 13 putting from 53 feet … BANG!
3:22 p.m. Phil’s even heading to No. 11 after bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie-birdie flurry.
3:11 p.m. Davis Love III birdies No. 1 and climbs to 5 under. Put your hands in the air, Sea Island!
3:02 p.m. Kenny Perry equals the day’s best front nine with a 5-under 29. Apparently life begins at 50. (I’ll try to confirm this with Hoppy Kercheval.)
2:34 p.m. Depending upon which camera angle the Golf Channel is featuring, it’s either pouring or gorgeous.
2:22 p.m. Lefty bogeys No. 6—the second 10-foot par putt he has missed—and slips to 2 over. Clearly he hasn’t recovered from the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
1:55 p.m. Pat Carter, pride of West Virginia and a guy with a parenthetical “a” beside his name, finished at 5 over. In good news, he had a birdie on No. 17, and his home state’s still rooting for him.
1:51 p.m. D.H. Lee (-4) off the course with four birdies, none of which he flipped.
1:45 p.m. Phil Mickelson bogeys the par-4 second hole. Gallery prays this is only a hiccup.
1:17 p.m. Johnson Wagner said the horde of Hokies fans following him Thursday could have meant added pressure if he was playing poorly. “(But) when I’m playing well, I want everybody that I know to be out following me. I love putting on a good show for my family and friends.”
1:14 p.m. Johnson Wagner (tied for the lead at 8 under) no longer sports his awesome porn ‘stache, but never fear, lovers of 70s-style facial hair. “It will definitely come back at some point—I love irritating my wife too much with it to let it go for too long. We just celebrated our seventh anniversary on Monday and I didn’t get her a gift, so I thought surprising her with a clean lip would suffice.”
1:13 p.m. After four bogeys and a double-bogey, Paul Haley II holes out a 150-yard eagle on No. 16. If I was that dude, I would regale my friends with descriptions of my awesome shot on 16.
12:35 p.m. And here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory.
12:22 p.m. The afternoon groupings had not yet teed off but Tommy Gainey (co-leader at 8 under) was enjoying his time as a frontrunner. “There’s still three days left, but I tell you what: I like my chances.”
12:16 p.m. Webb Simpson, No. 19 in the world, completes a 6-under round of 64. He looks solid as ever. His fellow Wake Forest alum and group member Bill Haas, was 2 under despite three bogeys.
12:12 p.m. At the risk of jinxing it, we’ve been rain-free for three-plus hours.
12:08 p.m. Tommy Gainey’s finished at 8-under. Terrific round for him, capped by birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.
11:59 a.m. Daly’s day is done at 5-over. Going to be a tough climb tomorrow for him to make the cut. At least he didn’t waste time speaking to the media after his round—probably was headed to the range.
11:52 a.m. Brendon De Jonge finishes his opening round with a 4-under 66. No bogeys for the Zimbabwe native, who also is a Virginia Tech alum. I feel like we should credit Bud Foster for this.
11:18 a.m. Johnson Wagner quickly untied it with an eagle from 28 yards out on No. 12. The Virginia Tech grad—who had just birdied 11—is now 8-under.
11:15 a.m. Through 14 holes, South Carolinian Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey is tied for the lead at 6-under. The 37-year-old is ranked 181 in the world. He’s representing the heck out of Central Carolina Tech.
10:41 a.m. Rory Sabbatini eagled No. 12 with an 18-yard chip out of the bunker.
9:23 a.m. Daly closed the front nine at 5-over. For the love of everyman humanity, may Daly sink a few back-nine birdies and keep his round from spiraling.
9:09 a.m. David Mathis wraps up his front nine at 4-under 30. He’s ranked 483rd in the world, which makes him the favorite to win this tournament.
9 a.m. Huntington’s Pat Carter, a 13-time champion of the West Virginia Amateur, teed off with Scott Gardiner and Paul Haley II. The rain-softened fairways weren’t favorable for Carter, who can’t rival the Tour’s big hitters, but his 267-yard opening drive led to a par on No. 1. He also earned a par on No. 2 thanks to a 40-yard chip to within a foot of the hole.
7:55 a.m. The always colorful John Daly, into the field on a sponsor’s exemption, endured a horrid start. His tee shot found the water on the par-4 No. 2, and he later chipped from a rough into a bunker. He finally sank a five-foot putt for a quadruple bogey.
7:10 a.m. There was no derecho, but the fourth annual Greenbrier Classic commenced amid an Independence Day downpour. Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, who said the rain helps his corn crops even as it soaks the Old White TPC, hooked the ceremonial tee shot to open play.