World news – Genesis Open 2021: Sam Burns shoots opening round 64, leads with 2 strokes


The 24-year-old shot a seven-under-64-year-old in the opening round of the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, California, opening a two-stroke lead over Matthew Fitzpatrick and Max Homa. Eight other players settled in at four.

1. in SG: Approaching the green
3rd in SG: putting

@ SamBurns66 holds a 2-shot lead @TheGenesisInv.

Burns had two bogies, but made up for it with seven birdies and an eagle. The Louisian native had an average driving distance of 250.5 meters, driving accuracy of 42.9 percent, hit 72.2 percent of the regulated greens and scored an impressive 3.6 shots, according to

Burns played well, to the point that golf legend Nick Faldo picked him to win the tournament.

« He’s a ball forward and this is a ball forward course, » said Faldo, while he was named Burns’ Steve DiMeglio, according to USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio announced his election before the tournament. « He’s been playing well lately and yes, I picked him before the tournament started. »

« It’s a huge compliment, » he said of Faldo’s prediction. « Whenever a guy says you’re going to play well, it’s always a good sign, I think. »

« I think we were pretty consistent throughout the lap. We knew we were going to be tough there Stretch to start the back nine. I think we’re just patient out here. This golf course doesn’t give you a lot of options sometimes, so I think that with that mindset we’d just take what we could get.  »

Burns set the pace, but quite a few players provided fantastic highlights that day, including the ace of Tae Hoon Kim:

🚨 ACE! 🚨

Tae Hoon Kim is playing on a sponsorship release and has a hole-in-one at 16! 😱


An almost ace on the 16th for @JordanSpieth. 🎯

An opening round 3-under 68 got him T11 @TheGenesisInv. 💪


And Willie Mack III – who played with an exception and sanded the mini-tour route so far that he slept in his car once to achieve his dream chase – had an excellent lap and finished one under:

1-under on lap 1 for Willie Mack III. 💪

He’s only the third recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption, which opens @TheGenesisInv under par. 👏

Other notable finishers that day were Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth with three under, Adam Scott with two under, Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler with one under, Bubba Watson with equal par and Rory McIlroy at two under.

They’re all chasing Faldo’s husband Burns, who will carry his fantastic first round into the weekend.


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