“I don’t know the scenarios, so it really doesn’t make a difference for me to watch the scoreboard, other than to figure out how to get to the leaders,” he said. “It’s a weird scenario teeing off last when it’s the first round and there’s only 30 guys.”
And it didn’t help to see what Stanley was doing.
Stanley, the No. 22 seed and a long shot to win the FedEx Cup, thought East Lake was plenty tough during the practice rounds. He just didn’t make it look that way on Thursday, stuffing a wedge into two feet on No. 3 to start his run of four straight birdies.
He extended his lead by hitting a tee shot over the water to a front pin on the par-3 15th and making an 18-foot birdie, and then holing a 10-foot birdie putt on the 16th.
“I don’t have too good of a game plan for this golf course, seeing it for the first time,” Stanley said. “But I felt like maybe that would be key, just hitting a lot of fairways and giving myself chances on second shots.”