“I think everyone has been trying to do their best to prepare, and we’re certainly all coming in rested, that’s for sure,” Rose mentioned. “But no one quite knows where their tournament game is. Although my game wasn’t great the first few holes, I made a couple of putts, knocked one in from just off the green on my first hole of the day, so I looked at my caddie and went, ‘welcome back.’”
Some of the gamers’ off time was spent finding out the tour’s 37-page participant useful resource information detailing strict protocols for testing, disinfecting and social distancing. Players, caddies and event workers all underwent testing for the coronavirus earlier than being allowed onto the course and can obtain every day temperature checks and tracing questionnaires earlier than being allowed into the clubhouse.
Some of the most important attracts, just like the No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy and No. Four-ranked Justin Thomas, are making their first Colonial appearances. Others, like third-ranked Brooks Koepka and fifth-ranked Dustin Johnson, are making solely their second and third appearances, respectively.
Johnson, who began on No. 10, shot 34 on his entrance 9 however then bogeyed three of the subsequent 5 holes. Rust was evident on the tough fifth gap. About 20 yards from the inexperienced, he chunked his chip into the bunker, then scrambled for bogey. He completed with a 1-over 71.
“I was certainly a little bit rusty, nervous but had a good round going, then kind of let it slide there in the end,” mentioned Phil Mickelson, the two-time Colonial champion, making solely his second look right here within the final 10 years. “But it was fun to be back out competing and hopefully I’ll play better each round.”
Like most gamers, the veteran Ryan Palmer spent a lot of the layoff enjoying at his house membership, which occurs to be Colonial. The Colleyville, Texas, resident had the glory of hitting the opening tee shot on No. 1.
When Palmer’s group took off at 6:50 a.m. Central time, the solar was simply beginning to peek by means of the towering oaks, and gamers made footprints within the dew. The solely sounds got here from chirping birds and conversations from gamers. The flags didn’t transfer within the nonetheless air.