golf roundup

Wagner, Gainey on top at Greenbrier Classic

Tommy Gainey (a.k.a. “Two Gloves”) carded a bogey-free first round.
chris trotman/getty images
Tommy Gainey (a.k.a. “Two Gloves”) carded a bogey-free first round.

The mustache is gone, and for one round at least, Johnson Wagner also didn’t have to deal with playing bad golf.

Wagner and Tommy Gainey each shot an 8-under-par 62 Thursday to share a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulpher Springs, W.Va.

Webb Simpson and Jin Park were close behind after 64s. Daniel Summerhays, Tag Ridings, Steven Bowditch, and 50-year-old Neal Lancaster were another shot back.


Asked where he was headed after his round, Lancaster quipped, “To bed. Fifty-year-old guys don’t want to play golf at 7:20 in the morning.’’

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Players were able to lift, clean, and place their balls after rain before the start.

Gainey and Wagner had bogey-free rounds in the morning. Wagner was 8 under after 12 holes but finished with six straight pars. Both could use a good week — Gainey is 125th in season tour winnings, while Wagner ranks 148th.

Wagner doesn’t have a top-10 finish this year and the three-time tour champion hasn’t won since the 2012 Sony Open. In his last seven tournaments, he’s missed six cuts and withdrew from the Memorial.

‘‘The last couple of months have been really hard,’’ Wagner said. ‘‘I just haven’t been much fun to be around. It’s just been tough. Nobody likes to be bad at what they do, especially golfers.’’


A product of Virginia Tech — which is less than two hours from the Old White TPC course — Wagner chipped in for eagle on the par-5 12th, then finished with six straight pars.

‘‘I’ve been disappointed with 76s and 79s the last month, so I’m very happy to be disappointed with a 62 today,’’ said Wagner, who shaved his well-talked-about mustache in a nod to his wife for their seventh wedding anniversary on Monday.

‘‘I didn’t get her a gift. So I thought maybe surprising her with a clean lip would suffice,’’ he said.

The mustache will return at some point.

Gainey’s first PGA Tour victory came last fall at the McGladrey Classic, but like Wagner he has missed more cuts than he’s made this year.


Among those at 2 under were Bill Haas, coming off a win at Congressional last week, and Ryan Palmer, whose caddie is New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

Phil Mickelson, playing for the first time since finishing second to Justin Rose at the US Open, struggled to a 74.

European — Anders Hansen shot a 5-under 66 to lead by a stroke after the first round of the French Open on a golf course that punished some of the main contenders.

Hansen made seven birdies and two bogeys on the Albatross course of Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, which will host the Ryder Cup in 2018.

Frenchman Romain Wattel was in second place, one stroke clear of nine players who shared third place. Past winners Martin Kaymer (68) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) stayed in contention.