Ted is just three strokes behind the leaders . . .
Ted Potter closed like the legendary runner Silky Sullivan in the first round of the $8.1 million AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas yesterday, making birdies on his final four holes and winding up with a 6-under-par 66. That put him in a 15-way logjam for 19th place behind the co-leaders, J. J. Spaun and Jordan Spieth, who both opened with 9-under 63's over the TPC Craig Ranch course.
Looking to make his third straight cut, Ted began on the back nine and went 2 under with an eagle 3 on the par-5 12th hole. He canned a 9-foot putt for birdie on No. 14, but he gave that one back on 16, missing a par putt of 6 feet, 8 inches. He missed a chance to get back to 3 under on No. 18, a par 5, when he blasted out of a greenside bunker to within 5 feet, 7 inches, but couldn't convert the putt.
Moving to No. 1, Ted birdied the hole after hitting his second to within 9 feet, but immediately gave that one back with a bogey on 2. He then parred the next three holes before playing the last four in 12 strokes, 4-under-par.
The round can easily be attributed to Ted's best performance in months in two important categories. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in putting together his round of 32-34-66.
In a day when birdies were flying, Spaun and Spieth head into today just one stroke ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello, Aaron Wise, Doc Redman and Joseph Bramlett, who all shot 64. There's a 12-way deadlock at 65, which includes Sergio Garcia, Sam Burns, Alex Noren and Charles Howell III.
SEMINOLES: Hank Lebioda (-5, tied for 34th); Daniel Berger (-3, tied for 77th), Brooks Koepka (-1, tied for 116th). GATOR: Matt Every (-2, tied for 96th).