The Houston Open, which began on Thursday, is the first PGA Tour event in the US to have fans on-site since March. Two thousand tickets were sold for each round of the tournament.
And having people walking the course alongside them did cause some experienced players to double-take.
“Completely forgot. It’s nice. It gets you excited a little bit, gets you fired up. It’s nice to hear some claps out here when you’re fortunate enough to hit a good shot.”
And although it wasn’t the first PGA Tour event to have fans in attendance — last week, 500 fans per day were permitted at the Bermuda Championship — it was the first on US soil.
“I think the PGA Tour’s done a great job keeping us safe and keeping the fans safe. I think it’s great that they have the freedom to come out here and watch. Pretty much everyone was wearing a mask that I saw, so I felt very safe out there on the course.”
Brandt Snedeker birdied two of his final four holes to grab the lead after day one at the Houston Open.
The American shot a five-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead in the last event before the Masters starts November 12. He’s one of 37 players in the field this week set to play at Augusta National.
However, the last tune-up event before The Masters didn’t go to plan for some of golf’s biggest names.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson — making his return after his positive Covid-19 test — shot a 72, bogeying five of his last seven holes on his front nine, while four-time major winner Brooks Koepka also shot a two-over 72.
Jordan Spieth finished three-over after the first round while Phil Mickelson had two double bogeys and two bogeys as he shot an opening round 76.