SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Nate Lashley fired a bogey-free 8-under 62 and has a one-shot lead after the first round of the 2020 Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open Presented by United Rentals. As expected, the leaderboard is crowded at the top after 18 holes – Zach Smith is a shot back after his opening 63, Steven Kupcho is just two shots back after his 64, and a slew of big names sit three shots off the lead including Kevin Streelman, Joel Dahmen, Scott Harrington and Colt Knost.
Lashley, who earned his first career PGA TOUR win last year at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, got off to a hot start with an eagle on the 552-yard, par-5 second, and added birdies on holes 5 and 7 to make the turn at 4-under. He continued with another hot start on the back, carding birdies on four of his first six holes to take the first-round lead at 8-under par. The Scottsdale resident currently ranks 52nd in the PGA TOUR’s FedEx Cup standings, and along with his win in Detroit, he earned a T3 in Scottsdale earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
“It was just nice to get out and play a competitive round, get that feeling going again,” Lashley said. “It didn’t really feel that much different, really though it is just nice to be able to compete and play against a lot of my good friends out here. It was fun.”
Zach Smith currently sits in second place at 7-under thanks to his bogey-free 63, while Steven Kupcho carded an impressive 5-under 30 on his back nine to vault to 6-under, just two shots off the lead.
Lurking only three shots back are even more familiar names to those who follow the PGA TOUR. Streelman had a bogey-free round for his 65, while the hot-hitting Dahmen recorded seven birdies and two bogeys on the day. Harrington was on fire early with six birdies through the first 12 holes, but slowed down with pars the rest of the way until a bogey at 18 dropped him back to 5-under par for the day. Also sitting at 5-under are Brady Calkins, Kevin Lucas, Dylan Wu and Andre Metzger.
“It was a great first round, we are excited to have things underway,” said Tournament Director Ryan Pray. “We had some low scores today, the weather was perfect and Talking Stick is in great shape, so we expect to see this continue for the next two days and see some really low scores and competitive golf.”
Round two gets underway tomorrow at Talking Stick with the morning wave starting at 7:30 a.m. and afternoon wave at noon. Click here for Second Round tee times and the First Round leaderboard.
Entering its fourth year and Presented by United Rentals, the Scottsdale AZ Open features a 54-hole tournament with a field of 162 players, with a cut to the low 50 players and ties after 36 holes. The tournament has a guaranteed purse of $130,000 – with $20,000 going to the winner.
The Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open Presented by United Rentals will begin with the Headline Sports Group Pro-Am on May 11, followed by the three-day, 54-hole tournament, which will crown a champion on Thursday, May 14. For more information visit the tournament website at www.scottsdaleazopen.com.