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Robert Streb’s record start leads to first-round lead at CJ Cup

Robert Streb’s record start leads to first-round lead at CJ Cup

Robert Streb played his first six holes a red-hot 7 under par on Thursday en route to an 11-under 61 and a one-shot lead through one round of the CJ Cup at Summit.

Keith Mitchell made a late charge at Streb’s lead and finished the afternoon with a 10-under 62 at The Summit Club in Las Vegas.

Streb birdied the first two holes before reaching the green in two at the par-5 third hole. He buried a 12-foot eagle putt and pulled out three more birdies in a row before the stretch ended.

According to the PGA Tour, Streb and Brandt Snedeker in 2007 are the only two players in the ShotLink era to open a tournament 7 under through six holes.

“I was trying to stay in the moment as best I can and, I don’t know, you just feel like you can start aiming at stuff,” said Streb, whose 61 marked a new career-low round. “Things seemed to be going my way. Even that bogey, I almost made the putt, so it just went really well.”

Streb finished with 10 birdies, an eagle and a bogey. He has two career victories to his name, both of which came during the fall portion of the tour schedule.

Mitchell turned in a bogey-free card with 10 birdies, including five straight on Nos. 3-7. He made six birdie putts of 13 feet or longer, the longest being a 24-footer at #12, and led the field in strokes gained: putting after one round.

“It was great out there today. I really felt a lot better about my game than the last couple weeks,” Mitchell said. “Spent a lot of time, even after missing the cut last week, Saturday, Sunday, Monday grinding. I needed it. Then my putting coach came out here this week, left today, but he helped me so much and it really, it really showed today.”

Harry Higgs birdied the 18th to wrap up an 8-under 64 for sole possession of third place. Hudson Swafford, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Norway’s Viktor Hovland carded 7-under 65s for a tie for fourth. Garcia converted an 18-foot eagle putt on the last hole to reach 7 under, while Hovland was the only one of the trio to keep a clean card.

A logjam at 6-under 66 included notable names like reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, fan favorite Rickie Fowler, Australia’s Cameron Smith and England’s Ian Poulter. Multiple-major winners Collin Morikawa and Brooks Koepka joined a large tie at 5 under.

Normally played in South Korea as part of the tour’s Asian swing, the CJ Cup is being played in the Las Vegas area for the second straight year due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. The event features a field of just 78 players and will not have a 36-hole

Jason Kokrak, who won the 2020 event at Shadow Creek Golf Course, is last after one round at 5 over.

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