If you shot even par on Thursday at the RSM Classic, you have almost no hope of making it to the weekend in the last PGA Tour tournament of 2021.Two courses are used for the first two rounds of this event, and both played well under par during Round 1. The average score at the Seaside Course — where leader Sebastian Munoz played his round and shot 10-under 60 — was 66.31, and the average score at the Plantation Course was 68.7. The Seaside number of 66.31 is the second-lowest scoring average on a single course in a single round on the Tour since 1983. Even though Munoz was on the easier course, he still gained the most strokes of anyone on either course against their particular field (6.3) as the best scores on the Plantation Course (63s) only gained 5.7 strokes against their field. So Munoz holds the lead on the leaderboard and actually played the best golf of anyone in this tournament on Thursday relative to his field on his course. That’s not always the case after the first round at tournaments with split courses.Golf, such a simple and normal sport. Let’s go a little deeper on Munoz and his chasers with just 54 holes remaining on the PGA Tour calendar.
1. Sebastian Munoz (-10): Munoz needed to play the last three holes in 2 under to shoot 59, and he only managed to play them in 1 under as he missed a 11-foot putt on No. 17 that would have set him up for the magic number. Still, it was a great start to the event for somebody looking for win No. 2 of his career, and he did it mostly from tee to green, which for him should be sustainable for the next three days. He said afterward he was proud of not putting a 5 on his card all day.”It’s a thing I used to do back in college,” said Munoz. “It was the challenge of the day trying not to make a 5 on the scorecard with my fellow college team players. So that’s when I know I play my best, when I don’t make a 5.”T2. Mackenzie Hughes, Scott Stallings, Zach Johnson, Chez Reavie (-9): Johnson, who played the easier Seaside Course, is perhaps the most surprising leaderboard appearance of anyone in this group. While he’s had a great career, doesn’t have a top 10 since March and has missed four of his last five cuts. He was lights out with his iron play, though, and also had a shot at 59 by playing the last three in 2 under (he played them in even).
T6. Russell Henley, Jhonattan Vegas, Corey Conners, Talor Gooch (-8): Corey Conners shot the most Corey Conners round of all time on Thursday. He lost over a stroke to the field with his putter and somehow shot 62. He hit all 18 greens in regulation and hit it inside 12 feet 10 times.
T10. Scottie Scheffler (-7): Scheffler came in as the favorite and remains the favorite at 9-1 after 18 holes. He birdied his last four to shoot 63 at the Seaside Course, and he shot that number with a well-rounded game that didn’t lean too heavily on any single facet. He should be a force for the duration. He also played his first round with Bubba Watson’s old caddie, Ted Scott, on his bag.”I really just think the world of him as a person, so for me that was … why I was attracted to him just being a potential good partner for me out on the course,” said Scheffler. “We’ll just see how things go right now. Today was a lot of fun and go from there.”
DQ. Rory Sabbatini: Sabbatini had a sticker on his driver and got disqualified from the tournament because of it. As I said off the top, golf is the most normal, reasonable sport in the world.