Something about the Detroit Golf Club suits Doc Redman's eye.
The 22-year-old former amateur champion posted a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to share the lead with Scott Stallings after the morning wave during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
It was Redman's best round at the Detroit Golf Club, which is saying something considering the three consecutive 67s he carded after an opening 68 in finishing runner-up last year. That remains Redman's best career finish on the PGA Tour.
He did arrive in Detroit showing good form after closing with a 63 at last week's Travelers Championship.
"I've come off two good finishes and a really good finish last year at this event, which has never really happened to me," Redman said after closing his opening round with seven birdies over his final eight holes. "So I've never had this kind of expectation externally or even internally if I let it, so just trying to make it the same as every other week.
"I think I feel very comfortable because I've played well here and been here, so it just comes down to playing golf and doing the best I can."
Stallings also carded eight birdies against a lone bogey during his opening round as scores remained low despite longer rough at the Detroit Golf Club this year.
Peter Malnati, Chase Seiffert and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo were tied for second place at 6 under after the morning wave. Rocket Mortgage ambassador Rickie Fowler was among a group of players another shot off the pace that included James Hahn, Chris Kirk, Lucas Glover, Richy Werenski and Canada's Adam Hadwin.
Webb Simpson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 6, is in a large group at 4 under that also includes England's Tyrrell Hatton. Simpson said his 68 was about the worst score he could post considering how his game felt, including a lip-out on his final hole of the day.
"A bit frustrating," admitted Simpson, who is competing at the Detroit Golf Club for the first time. "I think all in all, a good start at a place I've never been to."
Fowler would have been tied for the morning lead if not for a double bogey out of thick rough on the 18th hole, his ninth of the day after starting on the back side. He has missed consecutive cuts while working on some changes with new swing coach John Tillery that he said led to bad blisters at the RBC Heritage two weeks ago.
"There's a lot of positives I could take from it. I know it kind of is weird saying that, missed cut and taking positives," Fowler said. "It always sucks not being there on the weekend. You've got to take the positives from it, which we've done.
"It's nice to get off to a good start here in Detroit. Go rest up and ready for tomorrow afternoon."
NOTES: Defending champion Nate Lashley holed out from a green-side bunker on his final hole of the day to post a 1-under 71. ... The Detroit event is in its second season on the PGA Tour, having replaced the D.C.-area Quicken Loans National on the schedule.
--Field Level Media