Tour returns from 3 months off with 56 rounds at 64 or lower
Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Three tournaments is hardly a reasonable sample size. Even so, the numbers have been jarring since the PGA Tour returned to competition.

Mackenzie Hughes opened with a 60 at the Travelers Championship. Rory McIlory has twice posted rounds of 63, and he still hasn't cracked the top 10 in the three tournaments he has played since the restart. Those are among 56 rounds of 64 or better over the last three weeks.

The PGA Tour put that into even greater context.

In the last three events, there has been a 64 or lower once every 24 rounds. In the first 22 events before golf was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 64 or better once every 54 rounds.

Fourteen players in the last three weeks alone have set or tied their career low scores on the PGA Tour.

So much for rust from the three-month break.

Either that, or everyone has the same amount of rust and the courses are really easy. Not to be overlooked is that players were so eager to return, all of them were playing. The fields at Colonial, Harbour Town and TPC River Highlands had a quality of field normally seen at the Muirfield Village, Riviera or the World Golf Championships.

''I think there's obviously a lot of good players that are playing these events,'' Brooks Koepka said last week before he withdrew from the Travelers Championship out of caution when his caddie tested positive for the coronavirus. ''Everybody has been dying to go play. I think a little bit of it is all the good players are playing, and then you're going to have a good leaderboard and then the golf course. When it's a birdie-fest and guys get hot, you're going to see a lot of people jammed up there at the top.''

The field is a combined 1,639 strokes under par in the last three events. At the same three events last year, the field combined to go 271-over par.

Some of that has to do with the calendar and the weather. Those often go together.

The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial began June 11, the latest the tournament has ever started. The weather in Fort Worth, Texas, was warm, meaning more water was required to keep the grass healthy, and that led to softer greens that can look like dart boards to the world's best players.

The RBC Heritage is typically the week after the Masters in April. It was moved to June 18. By then the rye grass overseed at Harbour Town had been overtaken by Bermuda. As a result, the rough was down. The greens were soft and a little slower (''I couldn't get the ball to the hole,'' Dustin Johnson said) and the scores in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, were absurd. In the third round, there were six rounds of 63. Webb Simpson wound up winning at 22-under 262, breaking the tournament record by two shots.

Last week at the Travelers Championship at least had a little separation, but not much. Johnson opened with a 69 and was outside the cut line in a tie for 72nd. His 61 in the third round put him in range, and he won at 19 under. Of course, Johnson is capable of that anywhere, not just in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Next up is Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where last year Nate Lashley had two rounds of 63 on his way to 25 under and a six-shot victory.

Comments
Tour returns from 3 months off with 56 rounds at 64 or lower
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox