Charles Schwab: Spieth and Garcia Lead the Way

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The local kid did not disappoint in the first-round. Jordan Spieth, Dallas native and fan favorite, got off to a scorching start at Colonial Country Club early Thursday morning. Starting his round on the back-nine, Spieth turned in three-under 32 before adding another birdie on the short par-4 2nd. After going through the “Horrible Horeshoe” unscathed, Spieth found another gear. A chip-in birdie on the par-3 8th put an exclamation point on a vintage Spieth performance. All in all, it was good for a round of 7-under 63 and puts Spieth in a tie for the lead alongside Sergio Garcia.

Garcia highlighted the afternoon wave of play. With the course drying out, Hogan’s Alley appeared to play a touch easier for those who teed off later in the day. Garcia took advantage. The Texas resident caught fire during the middle of his round, going 4-under over a four-hole stretch. By day’s end, Garcia carded a 7-under 63 to match Spieth’s morning round.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the field. Pre-tournament co-favorite, Justin Thomas, struggled mightily. After making birdie on the first hole, it was all downhill for the Players Champion. Wild tee shots, poor wedges, and flubbed chips were the story of the day for the world No. 2. If not for a cooperative putter, it could have been much worse than a 2-over 72. Thomas has plenty of room to make up if he plans on playing over the weekend.

PointsBet Sportsbook has Spieth as the clear-cut favorite heading into Friday. He’s listed at +175 with his co-leader, Garcia, not far behind at +650. Erik Compton, the best story of the day, sits at +15000 despite carding a 5-under 65.

Updated Odds to Win (via PointsBet):

+175: Jordan Spieth

+650: Sergio Garcia

+1400: Collin Morikawa, Jason Kokrak

+2200: Daniel Berger, Patrick Reed

+2800: Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker

+3300: Cameron Tringale, Tony Finau

+4000: Abraham Ancer, Adam Hadwin, Joaquin Niemann, Will Zalatoris

+5000: Brian Harman, Kramer Hickok

+6000: Talor Gooch

Round 2 Plays:

Si Woo Kim (+161) over Dylan Frittelli and Kevin Streelman

There’s a real possibility that Kim phones it in after a lackluster first-round. I’m willing to take that risk based off how he struck his irons on Thursday. He’ll need to clean up his driver and keep the ball in the middle of the fairway, but if he does then I really like him to turn things around tomorrow. While the putter was poor in Round 1, ranking towards the bottom of the field, a bounce back on the greens should be in Kim’s future.

Streelman made an early run to the top of the leaderboard only to falter towards the end of his round. He was solid throughout the bag, but made most of his hay on the greens. I don’t love that from a favorite, so I’ll steer clear because of that. Frittelli, the biggest underdog in this three-ball, was discombobulated on Thursday. Nothing worked for the South African and I am hoping that continues into the second round.

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Patton Kizzire (+223) over Corey Conners and Matt Jones

It’s not often that you get the player who steamrolled the other players in his threesome as the big underdog the following day. That’s what we have with Kizzire on Friday. The Auburn alum used a balanced approach on Thursday, carding a 3-under 67. There wasn’t anything flashy about his round, Kizzire took advantage of the two par-5's and tacked on a few other birdies. I expect more of the same tomorrow and love the play at these odds.

Most will look to Conners as the player to win this three-ball and rightfully so. The ball-striking was there for the Canadian, but the putter let him down immensely. He wasn’t able to capitalize on the par-5's and finished 3-over on the par-3's alone. Jones on the other hand struggled with his iron play en route to a round of 1-over 71. They are both threats to Kizzire, but I will take the hefty price on the golfer who played the best in Round 1.

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