Published January 13, 2015
Despite carding a pair of bogeys, Keegan Bradley fired a 10-under 60 on Thursday to grab a 3-stroke lead after the opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship.
Bradley, who won this title and the PGA Championship in 2011, had 10 birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his course-record breaking score at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
Another former major champion, Charl Schwartzel is alone in second place at minus-7.
Robert Karlsson, Ted Potter, Jr. and Harris English share third place at 6- under 64, while Angel Cabrera, Ryan Palmer and Camilo Villegas are another stroke back at minus-5.
Bradley started his remarkable round on the 10th tee, one group behind Schwartzel. Bradley rolled in a 7-foot birdie try on No. 11 and followed with an 8-footer for birdie at 12. He made it three in a row with a short birdie effort on No. 13.
The three-time PGA Tour winner holed a shot from off the green at the 15th, then 2-putted for birdie from 53 feet out on the par-5 16th, but trouble loomed.
Bradley hit a poor drive on No. 18 and was forced to pitch back to the fairway. He dropped his third 15 feet from the cup, but 2-putted for bogey. At the first, Bradley's drive found a fairway bunker and his approach came up short of the green.
His chip stopped within eight feet of the hole, but he failed to save par. Just like that, Bradley was back to 3-under, but it didn't last.
Bradley got one stroke back with a 17-footer for birdie at the second. At the fourth, he converted a birdie try from 10 feet out to get back to minus-5.
Last year's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winner drained a 15-foot birdie putt at five. After a par at six, Bradley jumped to 8-under thanks to a 10-foot eagle effort at the seventh.
Bradley drained an 11-foot birdie try at eight to give himself an outside shot at 59. He would need to sink his second shot at the ninth, his last.
And he didn't miss by much.
Bradley's approach nearly slammed right into the cup for eagle, but he settled for a 3-foot birdie putt, which gave him a 60.
"I matched up a really good ball-striking day, and I made everything. It was a really, really fun day," Bradley stated. "I made them back-to-back, and I made a really bad bogey on No. 1, my 10th hole. Other than that, I didn't hit a bad shot all day."
Schwartzel had three birdies on the back nine, including 10-footers at 12 and 16, and a 3-foot birdie putt at the 13th.
Around the turn, he moved to 4-under with a 12-footer for birdie at one. He picked up another birdie from five feet out at the fourth.
The 2011 Masters champion converted back-to-back birdie chances to move into second place. Schwartzel birdied the seventh from 16 feet out and drained a 27-footer for birdie at eight to end three back.
"You're not going to get this course much easier. It was nice and soft out there after the rain last night," said Schwartzel. "I haven't had a bogey-free round in quite a long time. I just hit to the middle of the greens most of the time."
NOTES: Bradley's 60 was a course record, but only matched the tournament's 18- hole record as Sam Snead (Glen Lakes Country Club) and Arron Oberholser (Cottonwood Valley) also carded 60s in this tournament ... Defending champion Jason Dufner played with Bradley and opened with an even-par 70, which left him tied for 77th ... He was joined there by 14-year-old Tianlang Guan, who is trying to make the cut for the third straight time on the PGA Tour ... Preferred lies rules were played on Thursday after 1 1/2 inches of rain fell Wednesday night.