Soft Conditions Yielding Low Scores At Caves Valley


Bryson DeChambeau missed shooting a 59 by inches.

He might not be the last person to threaten the milestone in these conditions at Caves Valley.

DeChambeau’s 12-under 60 stood out, but it was another day of low scores in general at the BMW Championship on Friday. It also was the second straight week a player shot 60 during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Cameron Smith missed a 12-foot putt for a 59 last weekend at Liberty National.

DeChambeau leads in Owings Mills at 16 under, but he was just a shot ahead of Patrick Cantlay, who shot a 63 on Friday.

I thought I played great 9 under, Im very pleased, Cantlay said. But obviously there was lower than that out there today.

Jon Rahm also was a stroke behind DeChambeau. He played 15 holes before play was halted for darkness. At that point, only six of the 69 players in the field were over par for the tournament.

Scores were low in the first round as well the leaders were at 8 under and that doesn’t seem likely to change over the weekend. Play was delayed by thunderstorms Friday, after DeChambeau and Cantlay had already posted their impressive numbers.

The fairways are pretty wide here and the greens are pretty big, said Jordan Spieth, who played in DeChambeau’s group. You have to really kind of screw up to make a bogey.”

Spieth was at 3 under after two rounds. He had a good view as DeChambeau made eight birdies and two eagles in his second round.

I was just trying to piggyback a little bit, but when youre watching it, it can be a little bit kind of frustrating if you dont have it going, Spieth said. Youre like, `Man, is this what everyone is doing? Is everyone tearing it up?’

Just about. Harris English (70) also played with DeChambeau and was 5 under which would have been good enough to win the BMW Championship last year when it was at Olympia Fields. This year, he was 11 strokes back.

The Caves Valley course was an unknown commodity entering the week, this being the Baltimore area’s first PGA Tour event since 1962.

It’s very hard to predict when we come to a new site how the scoring’s going to be,” said Steve Rintoul, a PGA Tour rules official in charge of this event.

Rintoul said recent rain softened the course up, creating conditions that are pretty much ideal for low scores.

It never really escapes the soft conditions because of the heat and humidity,” he said. “When you get greens this good and soft conditions, it’s just prime for scoring.

The FedEx Cup isn’t the U.S. Open. Low scores aren’t uncommon. The Northern Trust at Liberty National last weekend was won in a playoff by Tony Finau, who finished at 20 under. Dustin Johnson won the Northern Trust at 30 under last year.

DeChambeau and Cantlay are halfway to a score like that.

Some holes its harder to get balls really close, to feed in close to the hole because they are fast greens and you can get on some bad sections on the green, Spieth said. But its hard to kind of be totally out of position unless you do something really wrong.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.twitter.com/noahtrister

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