Earlier Leaders in First Day of #QLNational
I knew this morning it was the first day of the Quicken Loans National when the MetLife Blimp flew over the house on its way to Bethesda. I purposely got a late start because I met my riding buddy at Lakeforest to cycle 15 miles around the mall at 6 a.m. A quick workout, shower and one dark Starbucks later and it was time to head over to Congressional.
My late start allowed time for half the field of 120 golfers to get started and push themselves towards the early lead. Most of the media followed Tiger Woods around and watched him finish 3 over par with a 74 and put himself in the hole going into Friday’s round of 18. Though he is not far off the leaders.
By the time I got to Congressional around 11 there were three clear leaders on the board – Ricky Barnes, Greg Chalmers and Patrick Reed. Reed and Barnes were on the back 9 so I made a quick decision to find them and then began the marathon walk from the clubhouse (near River Road) all the way out to the far extremes of Congressional – the 16th Green and 17th fairway which parallels Persimmon Tree Road.
Mind you I did 15 easy miles on the bike earlier this morning but now I was carrying the equivalent of my bikes’ weight in camera equipment on my shoulders to get into position. I am not complaining – those tour caddies carry more weight than that for 18 holes for about 7,800 yards. Oh and just a bit of caddy news for those of us that aren’t regular followers on the tour – Patrick Reed does not have his favorite caddy with him this year. His wife and longtime caddy Justine recently gave birth to their first child, a girl. So my money’s on him – “the baby needs a new pair of shoes” as a motivated clubhouse leader.
Once I found Barnes I was set and followed him from 17 through 18. Then I tracked down Reed on 16 as he passed through and followed him in to 18. They were the clear leaders but Greg Chalmers got stronger during mid-day and got into the clubhouse with a 5 under par 66. As I write this Barnes is second with a 4 under par 67 and Reed finished with a 3 under par 68.
Here are a few of the sights I found around the back 9 at Congressional. Tomorrow – I go front side to catch up with those who just might not make the cut Friday night.
Enjoy these views: