Chez Reavie tied for third in the Safeway Open for his best finish on the PGA Tour last season, and even though the tournament has a new name he picked up right where he left off.
The 39-year-old Reavie collected six birdies on his back nine while finishing off a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Cameron Tringale of Mission Viejo and Adam Hadwin of Canada after the first round of the Fortinet Championship on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.
This is the first event of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season.
“I told myself to stay patient, you have plenty of chances to make birdies, and I was able to do that coming in,” said Reavie, who has won twice on the PGA Tour, the last time in the 2019 Travelers Championship, and twice on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour.
“I was one-over through six holes, I think. I was like, ‘OK, stay patient, don’t become impatient.’ I was hitting the ball into the rough on my first nine and just had to play for pars. I hit the ball better on my back nine and was able to give myself some good looks. Fortunately, I was able to make some birdies.”
Reavie made a bogey at No. 14 after starting on the 10th hole, but got going with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, before making three more on the first five holes of the front and then finished with three straight birdies.
Tringale, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, made three birdies on each nine in his 66, which Hadwin, who won the 2017 Valspar Championship, matched with seven birdies and a lone bogey on the 15th hole.
Max Homa of Valencia, who claimed his second PGA Tour victory in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera last season, sank a 25-foot eagle putt at No. 16 in a 67 and is tied for fourth with Nate Lashley, who made his own eagle from 18 feet on the 16th, Nate Lashley, Jason Dufner, Mito Pereira of Chile and Troy Merritt.
Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley and Stanford birdied two of the last three holes for a 68 and is in a big tie for 10th with 2020-21 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Will Zalatoris, Brandt Snedeker, Harold Varner III, Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, Si Woo Kim of South Korea, Peter Uihlein, Dawie van der Walt of South Africa, Wyndham Clark, John Augenstein, Austin Cook, Adam Schenk, Bronson Burgoon and Greyson Sigg.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is tied for 24th at 69, PGA champion Phil Mickelson shot 70 and is in a tie for 41st that includes Brendan Steele of Idyllwild and UC Riverside, the only two-time champion at Silverado, while top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, the U.S. Open champ, is tied for 104th at 72.
“I didn’t have the mental clarity I usually have,” said Rahm, who withdrew from the pro-am on Wednesday because of a stomach ailment and is play for Europe in the Ryder Cup next week. “It was a bit of a battle in that sense, that’s why probably on the greens it wasn’t my best day, but again, it is what it is.
“I’ve dealt with worse. I think a lot of people out there have played with worse. Tiger Woods won a US Open with a broken knee, so I’m OK. But I was a little tight and just didn’t make the putts when I gave myself a chance. We have three more days to go and you can’t win it, but you certainly can lose it. But there is a lot of golf left to play.”
Defending champion Stewart Cink withdrew when the tournament was moved up a week because his son, Connor, is getting married on Saturday.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html