Bubba Watson entered the Zurich Classic as a favor to his mother.
“My mom really wanted me to come,” said Watson, tied for first-round lead with Matt Jones after opening with a 6-under 66 on Thursday. “My mom always comes to this golf tournament, so when my mom says she wants to come, I’m here. And somehow I shot 6 under today.”
Watson, from the panhandle area of Florida, two-putted from 32 feet for eagle on the par-5 11th and had six birdies and two bogeys at the New Orleans-area TPC Louisiana.
Jones chipped in for a birdie on his final hole.
“I pitched it perfectly,” Jones said of his 57-footer. “It grabbed a little and just trickled in nicely.”
The Australian had eight birdies and two bogeys.
Six players, including David Duval, were one shot back after 67s.
Grace Park and Song-Hee Kim shot 5-under 67s in windy conditions to share the first-round lead in the Avnet LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala. Lee Westwood, the first top-ranked player to compete in Korea, made a double bogey on his final hole in the first round of the Ballantine’s to shoot a 72 and fall six shots behind leader Damien McGrane.