Landry in mix; Stroud falters after one round in first PGA playoff

Published 6:03 pm Thursday, August 8, 2019

One bad shot kept Andrew Landry from being well up the leaderboard in the opening round of the FedEx Cup playoffs Thursday at Liberty National Golf Club.

Several bad shots doomed Chris Stroud into an almost certain missed cut. Landry walked away with a three-under-par 68 that was good for a tie for 33rd.

He’d have been considerably higher had he not dumped his second shot into the water on his 15th hole — the par-5, sixth — and taken a bogey six on the easiest ranked hole of the day.

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Stroud, still struggling with his driver, suffered three penalty shots — two on balls in the water — and limped home with a five-over 76. Going to his ninth hole even par, he took a double bogey. Coming to the 18th two-over, Stroud concluded his round with a triple-bogey 7.

Troy Merritt owned the first-day lead with a sizzling 62. That left him a shot ahead of Dustin Johnson’s 63. Two others were in at 64. Overall, 16 players shot five-under 65 or better.

Landry had a clean scorecard until his costly bogey at his 15th hole. Playing the back nine first, he rolled in birdies from 3 feet, 5 inches, on the par-5 13th and from 2-2 on the par-4 16th. He got it to three under with a birdie-2 from 5-2 on No. 4.

After the bogey at 6, he finished on a high note with a birdie 3 from 7-4 on the par-4 ninth.

Meanwhile, the best score turned in by a pro golfer from Southeast Texas on Thursday came from PNG ex Braden Bailey. Playing in the All Pro Tour (formerly Adams Tour) Taco Bell Classic in Natchez, Mississippi, Bailey fired a six-under-par 66 to move into third place at the 36-hole mark with 136.

Bailey, who had opened with a 70 on Wednesday, is three shots off the lead of Wesley Hunter, who shot 65 for 133. Alden Fortner is at 134. Bailey battled his way into contention by making five birdies on the way to a back nine 32.