A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier: Webb Simpson grabs Round 1 lead


Webb Simpson has saved his best form for the biggest events this season, winning the Players Championship and following it up with a top 10 at the U.S. Open, but he shined again Thursday during the first round of the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

Simpson shot a 9-under 61 after firing a 6-under 30 on the back nine. He even went on 59-watch late in his round, needing a birdie on the last two holes, but he settled for two pars.

Whee Kim shot an 8-under 62 in Round 1 with 10 birdies and two bogeys on the scorecard. Kim had an eight-hole stretch of either birdie or bogey on the front nine, but he settled down on the back with a bogey-free 4-under 32.

Joaquin Niemann, a 19-year-old phenom, continues to climb toward full exemption after a number of solid finishes, and he was hot again Thursday. Niemann, the former top-ranked amateur, shot a 7-under 63.

Kelly Kraft shot a 6-under 64 and Keegan Bradley led a group who shot a 5-under 65.

Phil Mickelson and Kevin Chappell were among a large group at 4 under. Mickelson shot a 4-under 32 on the back nine after struggling on the front.

Jamie Lovemark and Tony Finau led a group at 3 under. Finau has finished in the top 10 in both majors so far this season.

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