Who knew the 2018 Zurich Classic would pop like it did on Day 1 from New Orleans. A TV analyst and his partner are on the leaderboard, Ryan Palmer and Jordan Spieth tried to recreate the 2017 Open Championship and Justin Thomas almost had the sauciest ace of all time.
But first, the co-leaders. Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover partnered to shoot a 12-under 60 in the Thursday best ball festivities. A reminder that Thursday and Saturday are best ball days in which the best score on an individual hole between two golfers is applied to that team as a whole. The Reavie-Glover duo birdied five on the front nine and seven on the back (both golfers made six birdies) and nearly cracked 60.
"I think we're both really good ball strikers," Reavie said. "We wanted to strategize properly, and so I would lay back in some of the fairways and let him get more aggressive on the tees. We seem to read putts very similar together, and kind of the way we pick spots and certain points of the line.
"We're just very comfortable helping each other out. If I tell him something and he's not all in, then he's going to do what he wants and I'm completely good with it, and vice versa."
Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng Dou also partnered to shoot 12-under 60 and share the lead with Reavie and Glover. Those two are trailed by teams of Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown, Daniel Summerhays-Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood-Chris Paisley and J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, all of which are 10 under after 18 holes.
Powerhouse squads of Jordan Spieth-Ryan Palmer (-6), Henrik Stenson-Justin Rose (-7), Justin Thomas-Bud Cauley (-2) and Wesley Bryan-Jon Rahm (-6) are a little bit further back. Let's take a look at a few takeaways on a wet, but fun first round from New Orleans.
1. David Duval is in the mix! David Duval! As in "works for the Golf Channel and makes his living as a broadcaster these days" David Duval. The 13-time PGA Tour winner linked up with Jim Furyk to shoot a 7-under 65. Duval contributed four birdies, even though he hasn't won on the PGA Tour since 2001 and hasn't made a cut since the 2015 Open Championship. He generally plays a few tournaments a year, but this is his first go at the Zurich Classic team event.
"Well, it's a joy, you know," Duval said. "The competition is different. I certainly miss it. Like to play a little bit more than I do. But I also enjoy the other side, you know? It's just a treat. I'm a big fan of New Orleans and the people here and Zurich and what they've done with this event. We just love coming here."
2. Justin Thomas' one-handed near-ace: My favorite shot of the day was this #TourSauce finish from Thomas that nearly went in the cup. If you don't know what #TourSauce is, you need to 1. Get involved and 2. Read this. Essentially it is when pros do absurd things that amateurs would never do. You know, like act like they've completely missed a shot by coming out of it with one hand and it nearly resulting in a hole in one. I'd be holding that pose like it was my last golf shot ever, and Thomas looked like he'd just eating a rancid piece of fish on Bourbon Street.
3. There was an albatross: For the first time in Zurich Classic history, according to the PGA Tour media guide, an albatross was made on Thursday. Rob Oppenheim holed out from 262 yards out to make a 2 on a par 5. How rare is an albatross? There were only four made all year last year, and there have been just 13 in the last four seasons.
4. Brooks Koepka's return: The No. 9 player in the world returned to action on Thursday with new partner Marc Turnesa. The duo shot a respectable 5-under 67, and Koepka contributed all but one of their six birdies in his first PGA Tour round since a three-month recuperation for a wrist injury in January. All things considered, it was a successful return to action for the reigning U.S. Open champ.
5. Justin Rose took his pants off: It was a party in New Orleans for the former winner on this course.
Thankfully for him, this little fella wasn't anywhere close.