When golfers tell you they don’t remember the round they just played, they really do. They just don’t want to.
Harold Varner III didn’t remember much of his first-round 62, but he really wanted to. He shares the lead at the Wyndham Championship after a quiet stroll across Sedgefield Country Club.
Normally followed by a contingent of purple-clad East Carolina grads, he was a lone purple shirt in a sea of green. On the most unusual opening round in Wyndham history, Varner made the most noise of the morning.
“I can’t really remember most of the round, but I just know I got a lot of good looks, and that’s all you’re trying to do out here since you’ve got to shoot so low,” he said. ”I forget a lot of stuff, so I can see that happening a lot.”
Like the four straight birdies from holes 8 to 11? Did he remember that?
“I’m trying to jog it through my brain right now,” Varner said. “No, I did not.”
So he’ll enter the second round with an open mind after being locked in on his game, unaware of his score and not once thinking of breaking 60.
“Dang, I wish I would have,” Varner said. “No, I didn’t think about it all. Just trying to birdie every hole. You can go get it out here, obviously with the scores, so I just knew that, you know, gas pedal’s on the right.”
His clean card was balanced, a 31 going out and a 31 coming in. He said he’s never really had a chance to shoot 59.
“I’ve never done that before,” Varner said. “I’ve never completed a round to have a chance to shoot 59, especially playing with my friends. That would be pretty cool, but 62 will do.”
He walked off the course, got into his own car and drove home to Gastonia. He didn’t say if he needed to mow him parents’ lawn, as he did when he played here a couple years ago.
He’s a favorite son here in North Carolina, and his round today was particularly serene in the empty setting. There were a few Pirates scattered around Sedgefield. He knows where to look for them. He knows some of them by name.
So this is a quiet homecoming for Varner, the rare Tour player who feels no pressure to win. Approaching his 30th birthday Saturday, he’s still looking for his first.
“Life’s really hard,” he said. “What people are going through right now? Yeah, this is easy. I don’t care if I don’t ever win. I want to win, but it is what it is.”
If this if his week, and Thursday was certainly his day, he’ll look back on the most unusual Wyndham Championship ever and smile.
If he remembers it, that is.
Contact Ed Hardin at 336-373-7069, and follow @Ed_Hardin on Twitter.
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