It hasn’t been a great year for 30 year-old Swede, Jonas Blixt, but he showed up on Thursday at The Greenbrier Classic in defense of his 2013 title, and took a one-shot lead to the clubhouse after the first round. Blixt picked up his second win on the PGA Tour last year at The Old White in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, but has struggled during the 2014 campaign.
With most of the top players on the European and PGA Tours either resting up for the Open Championship or making final preparations, Jonas Blixt fired an opening round 6-under par 64 on arguably the easiest par 70 layout on the Tour.
The 2008 Florida State Grad who is from Nassjo, Sweden has had a strange 2014 season. He was tied for second place at The Masters with Jordan Spieth, but has seven missed cuts.
“You have guys like Matt Kuchar that play well every week, and guys like me that kind of have good weeks and some bad weeks and a little more of a roller-coaster,” the reigning Greenbrier Classic champ said. “You never really know what you’re going to get. …
“It’s 80 percent kind of you hit your head against the wall, I feel like. Just trying to figure something out to play better and find the mojo again, and 20 percent of the time you feel like everything is just flowing like it did that Sunday a year ago.
“I hope this can be the ice breaker this year and just keep going.”
The “Old-Timers” in the field this week, Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson, and NBC Golf Analyst, Nick Faldo both fired one over par 71′s in the opening round, and have a good chance to make the cut with decent rounds on Friday.
Watson is the pro emeritus at The Old White, and is playing the opening rounds with Webb Simpson, and Keegan Bradley. Both players are former Ryder Cup stars who have not yet qualified for the 2014 event coming up in October. Faldo is getting geared up for Royal Liverpool in three weeks. Nick Faldo is a three-time winner at the Open Championship.
The excitement on Thursday came from an unlikely source. Twenty-five year-old Andrew Loupe came within inches of putting an Albatross on his score card at the par five 17th hole. From 279 yards out on the 17th, Loupe hit an absolute laser that rolled up to become a tap-in eagle.
The youngster from Baton Rouge finished his first round at even par, and at this writing is tied for 54th place.