The Loop

Cody Gribble grabs early lead by doing something no one has ever done at PGA National

February 23, 2017

Sam Greenwood

Cody Gribble grabbing the early lead at the Honda Classic shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The University of Texas product already has a win in his rookie season on the PGA Tour and is currently 15th in the FedEx Cup standings.

But according to Golf Channel's stat guru Justin Ray, Gribble just did something no one has ever done since the tournament moved to PGA National in 2007. Others have shot 64 -- including Wesley Bryan, who matched Gribble's score shortly after -- but not with such flawless ball-striking.

How about that?

Since undergoing a redesign by Jack Nicklaus in 2002, PGA National's Champion Course has played as one of the toughest venues on tour. Last year it ranked as the second-toughest non-major tournament and it's finished in the top eight in that category in all but one of the 10 years it has hosted this event.

And even Gribble fell victim to "The Bear Trap" on Thursday, bogeying the par-4 16th hole by three-putting. Hey, we said he showed flawless ball-striking, not putting.

But Gribble bounced back with a rare birdie on the par-3 17th to close out that grueling stretch of holes and added a birdie on 18. Then he screamed, "Take that, Jack Nicklaus!" OK, so that last part isn't true.