PGA Tour news: Billy Horschel and Joseph Bramlett grab first-round Honda Classic lead
With most of the tour's top players opting to sit this week out following the changes to the PGA Tour schedule this year, Bramlett and Horschell took full advantage of their absence. The event at Palm Beach Gardens traditionally marks the start of the Florida Swing but has now lost much of its appeal, leading to tournament sponsor Honda pulling out from next year. Florida native Horschel lamented the decline of the event earlier this week but now looks set to for a potentially lucrative weekend as he eyes an opportunity to bag his eighth PGA Tour title. Horschel was not feeling 100% prior to the start of the event thanks to a lingering sinus affection, but it appeared to do him no harm at all as he mixed six birdies with a solitary bogey. "There's a saying - beware of the injured or sick golfer. I'm not like super, super sick, but I'm just not like a hundred percent," he said. "I think you are just sort of, a little bit easier on yourself. You're sort of not worrying about everything. "The course is really receptive. It's not nearly as firm and as fast as it has been in the past. "I think that's sort of a conscious thing they have done. The rough's down a little bit. So, the course itself is a little bit softer and it's lending itself to some better scores. "But you've still got to hit quality golf shots around here. It's not like it's just easy now. You still got to step up and make some good swings on a lot of these holes," he said. Bramlett, meanwhile, is searching for his first win on the PGA Tour, and five birdies in a bogey-free round has him sharing the first-round lead. "I thought my speed on the greens was the biggest thing I took away from today," said Bramlett. "I felt like I had really good feel for speed all day. I kept it out of trouble off the tee. So when I do those two things I usually score pretty well." Darkness prevented all the players from completing their first rounds. Americans Pierceson Coody and Justin Suh share second place a shot behind the leading duo after rounds of 66, while Carson Young was also one back but still has three holes to play. English duo Matt Wallace and Ben Taylor, Poland's Adrian Meronk and South Korea's Im Sung-jae are among eight players two shots off the lead.
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