Percentage decline in rounds played in the U.S. in 2018 compared with the previous year, according to Golf Datatech’s National Rounds Played Report, which was released Thursday. For December, the number of rounds played fell 7.7 percent from the same month in 2017. Higher precipitation in nearly all of the country led to fewer rounds played in every region except the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. The decline in rounds played in 2018 followed a 2.7-percent decline in 2017 from the previous year, according to Golf Datatech.
Number of strokes under par that co-leaders Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Harold Varner III stood after the first round of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. The American trio shot 64s at TPC Scottsdale. Scotland’s Martin Laird and American J.T. Poston were one stroke behind. Phil Mickelson, making a record 30th start in an event that he has won three times, opened with 68. Should Mickelson advance to the weekend, it would be his 500th made cut on the Tour in 597 official starts (scores).
First-round score for leader Xinjun Zhang of China at the Web.com Tour’s Country Club de Bogota Championship in Colombia. At 9 under, Zhang led American Mark Anderson by one stroke (scores).
First-round score for Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who opened a two-stroke lead in the European Tour’s inaugural Saudi International. Pieters played bogey-free golf in the first competitive round at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast (scores).