Texas, May 24: Tony Finau leads the Charles Schwab Challenge after opening with seven birdies to sit ahead of Jordan Spieth and Roger Sloan following the first round.
Finau carded one bogey on his front nine, but after the turn he finished without any blemishes. He credited his improved putting for his six-under 64.
"I haven't been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is, do you feel like you're going to make the putt or not?" Finau said after his round, via Golf Digest.
"Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt? So for me, I needed to switch something."
Finau hopes his new grip will keep him in contention at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. But there is a crowded field behind him, including Texas native and 2016 winner Spieth.
7 birdies and one bogey for @TonyFinauGolf.May 23, 2019
Spieth birded his final hole to move into second place at five under with Sloan. Spieth was also putting well, finishing the day 15 of 15 from putts inside 15 feet.
He also sank a 46-foot putt on the par-three fourth hole for a birdie.
Spieth could have easily been in first place after firing off eight birdies but carded a double bogey on the par-four 18th hole and a bogey on the par-three eighth to finish just a stroke shy of Finau.
"It's nice to see some results off what I believe is the progress I've been making," Spieth said, via the Dallas Morning News.
"At the same time, it's one round. I've got to keep my head down and keep working."
There is a sizable tie for fourth place at three under, including an American cast featuring Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Trey Mullinax.
Justin Rose, the defending champion, had a forgettable round. He fell into a tie for 95th place after his round was plagued with five bogeys.
Rickie Fowler joined Rose with a four-over 74.