The conditions at the Greenbrier Classic were optimal for scoring and a significant portion of the field took advantage of the opportunities. Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagner got out to the best starts, each carding an eight under par 62 on the day. Webb Simpson and Jin Park are just two shots behind at six under par. There are currently 18 golfers within four shots of the lead.
When a course presents as many scoring opportunities as The Old White TPC, four shots can disappear in a matter of minutes. Gainey thinks that he has found the key to success – and that is making sure the ball is in the fairway. “Hitting out of the rough is no fun,” Gainey said. “Trust me, I’ve been doing it for the past three years.” It’s certainly easier to score when you’re playing from the short grass, and Gainey is going to have to keep scoring if he wants to remain in contention.
After being mired in an extended slump – he has only made nine cuts in 22 events this year – Gainey is aware that he has a lot of work to do if he hopes to finish strong this week. He’s off to a good start, though, having missed only one fairway in the first round. “I believe you can get to at least 20 (under) this week,” Gainey said. “It depends on how much rain we get and how much softer this course gets.”
In order to get to that score, the golfers have to realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. They’re not going to win the tournament with one shot but they could very well put themselves out of contention with one.