Graeme McDowell and Wallace move into contention in New Orleans
Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings share the lead at Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Matt Wallace are teaming up this week for the first time at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. File photograph: Getty Images
Garnett and Stallings had five birdies each at TPC Louisiana, while Ventura contributed seven of the Norwegian pair’s 10 birdies.
The Ryder Cup team-mates finished three strokes off the pace in 16th along with defending champions Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm
Also sharing that spot on the leaderboard after rounds of 65 were Danny Willett and Tyrell Hatton, who both bogeyed the par-four 12th hole as their only blemish, as well as Scot Russell Knox and his American partner Brian Stuard.
At six under after a round of 66 were Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Matt Wallace who are teaming up together this week for the first time. With one bogey on their card - at the 15th - and seven birdies, the pair moved into contention after the opening round.
On partnering with Wallace, McDowell said: “both our caddies got together at San Antonio over breakfast and with Matt’s caddy asking my caddy: ‘Who does G Mac have for a partner?’ So, they said why don’t we play together and that’s basically how it came about.
“I then found out they’d been talking so I walked-up to Matt on the range in San Antonio and said to him: ‘Do you fancy giving the Zurich a go?’ So, thankfully he agreed.
“I had actually played well the week before out in the Dominican so I thought it strengthened my case for a partner because I was texting around and calling a few of the lads trying to rustle-up a partner despite missing several cuts in a row, and thinking to yourself that maybe no-one wants to play with me.”
Collated first round scores in the USPGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans (USA unless stated, Par 72):
62 Viktor Hovland (Nor) and Kristoffer Ventura (Nor), Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings
63 Cameron Champ and Tony Finau, Billy Horschel and Sam Burns, Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele, Mark Hubbard and Sebastian Cappelen (Den), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor) and Kyle Stanley, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) and Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Marc Leishman (Aus) and Cameron Smith (Aus)
64 Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, Bubba Watson and Scottie Scheffler, Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney, Tyler Duncan and Adam Schenk, Roger Sloan and Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Wyndham Clark and Erik van Rooyen (Rsa)
65 Michael Thompson and Will Gordon, Danny Willett (Eng) and Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Peter Malnati and Chris Baker, Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein, Scott Piercy and Akshay Bhatia, Russell Knox (Sco) and Brian Stuard, Henrik Stenson (Swe) and Justin Rose (Eng), Jon Rahm (Spa) and Ryan Palmer, Jason Kokrak and Pat Perez, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) and Kevin Streelman, Matt Jones (Aus) and J.J. Spaun, Cameron Tringale and Roberto Castro, Justin Suh and Doug Ghim
66 Brendon Todd and Chris Kirk, Keith Mitchell and Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell (Irl) and Matt Wallace (Eng), Doc Redman and Sam Ryder, Cameron Percy (Aus) and Greg Chalmers (Aus), Rob Oppenheim and Grayson Murray, Nelson Ledesma (Arg) and Fabian Gomez (Arg), Austin Cook and Andrew Landry, Max Homa and Talor Gooch
67 Andrew Putnam and Scott Harrington, Michael Kim and Brandon Hagy, Martin Laird (Sco) and Nick Taylor (Can), David Hearn (Can) and Zack Sucher, Robby Shelton and Kramer Hickok, Chesson Hadley and Ben Martin, Branden Grace (Rsa) and Harold Varner III, Alex Noren (Swe) and Henrik Norlander (Swe), Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) and Vaughn Taylor, Hank Lebioda and Bronson Burgoon, Michael Gligic (Can) and Vincent Whaley, Harry Higgs and Michael Gellerman, Thomas Pieters (Bel) and Tom Lewis (Eng)
68 Jason Dufner and Dominic Bozzelli, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) and Andres Romero (Arg), Woody Austin and Rocco Mediate, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor) and K. J. Choi (Kor), Sung Jae Im (Kor) and Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Matthew NeSmith and Chase Seiffert, Sepp Straka (Aut) and Josh Teater, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) and George McNeill, Matthew Every and Charlie Beljan, J.B. Holmes and Robert Garrigus, Rafael Campos (Pur) and Mark Anderson
69 Danny Lee (Nzl) and Sang-Moon Bae (Kor), Kevin Stadler and Johnson Wagner, Troy Merritt and Robert Streb, Tom Hoge and Beau Hossler, Maverick McNealy and Joseph Bramlett, Martin Trainer and James Hahn, Joel Dahmen and Lanto Griffin, Rhein Gibson (Aus) and Ben Taylor (Eng)
70 Kevin Tway and Kelly Kraft, Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas, D. J. Trahan and Ricky Barnes, Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover, Bo Van Pelt and Luke List, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff, Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown
71 Ryan Blaum and Jonathan Byrd, Chengtsung Pan (Tai) and Xinjun Zhang (Chn), Bo Hoag and Wes Roach, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) and Arjun Atwal (Ind)