Retief Goosen rediscovered the Fountain of Youth on Thursday, firing an 8-under 63 to tie for the Day One lead at the Quicken Loans National in Gainesville, Virginia.
Goosen was the model of perfection, with four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back to tie Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa for the lead.
Ishikawa, exactly half Goosen’s age at 23, made his way to 8-under thanks in large part to an ace on No. 4 and five straight birdies to close his round.
The pair have a 1-stroke lead over three more players, including veterans Justin Leonard and Ernie Els.
The 43-year-old Leonard hasn’t won a tournament since 2008. On Thursday he racked up eight birdies against a single bogey. Els was 3-under at the turn and offset his only bogey with an eagle 3 on the par-5 No. 14. The 45-year-old South African is after his first strictly PGA title since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2010.
While 81 player shot at least 1 stroke under par for the round, few got as much attention as the man tied for 62nd and another tied for 27th.
After hitting three bogeys on his first four holes, Tiger Woods found his footing, hti the turn at 1-over, then rattled off four straight birdies to start the back nine en route to a 3-under 68 to tie for 27th.
But even overshadowing Woods on this day was the play of Billy Hurley III, on the course for the first time since announcing his father has been missing for 12 days. Hurley birdied three of his first seven holes, and finished 1-under.
Willard Hurley apparently stayed in a hotel in Ashdown, Arkansas, on July 23. His credit card was used at a Relax Inn there, and a hotel clerk told a local TV station that a man fitting Hurley’s description checked out on that morning, appearing to be in good spirits and paying in cash.
Hurley’s credit card was used again in southwest Arkansas last week, leading investigators to believe he stayed at the Relax Inn at 1100 N. Constitution Ave. in Ashdown for at least one night.