Bill Haas Shoots 64 in Round 1 to Take Lead at Waste Management Phoenix Open

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01:  Bill Haas watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 1, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Bill Haas took an early lead at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open by posting a 64 in Round 1.

Rickie Fowler is one of five men sitting two strokes back in second place, and there are 28 players within four strokes of the lead after Thursday's action.

Considering Hideki Matsuyama finished 17 under par last year when he won this event, the low scores should keep coming at TPC Scottsdale.

              

Round 1 Leaderboard

1. Bill Haas (-7)

T2. Chris Kirk (-5)

T2. Rickie Fowler (-5)

T2. Billy Horschel (-5)

T2. Bryson DeChambeau (-5)

T2. Chesson Hadley (-5)

T7. Jon Rahm (-4)

T7. Brian Gay (-4)

T7. Bubba Watson (-4)

T7. Vaughn Taylor (-4)

T7. Gary Woodland (-4)

Full standings available at PGATour.com.

              

It was crowded at the top of the leaderboard throughout the day, but Fowler established himself as one of the top contenders in the morning session with his 66.

He made a handful of long putts, although he was just as impressive with his approaches:

They helped him earn four birdies and an eagle to enter the clubhouse with a share of first place.

Will Gray of Golf Channel noted Fowler's recent success at this event:

Meanwhile, Billy Horschel and Bryson DeChambeau matched him at five under after producing bogey-free rounds with five birdies. Chris Kirk and Chesson Hadley took more inconsistent paths but still ended up with 66s to sit in second place.

Justin Thomas appeared ready to challenge for the lead, going as low as six under through 15 holes after three straight birdies. 

This effort on No. 14 showed him at his best:

However, he followed up the three-birdie stretch with a double-bogey and a bogey, falling to three under for the day.

He had a better day than Jordan Spieth, who bogeyed four times on his way to a 72 and put himself in danger of missing the cut.

Everyone will be chasing Haas on Friday. He posted three birdies and an eagle on his first nine holes and then followed it up with two more birdies after the turn. He also didn't card a single bogey in a nearly flawless day in Scottsdale.

Gray broke down the key to his success:

As Justin Ray of Golf Channel noted, this is his first lead after Round 1 at a PGA Tour event since the Masters in 2014.

The tournament continues at 7:20 a.m. ET Friday morning with Round 2.

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