Webb Simpson visits the caddyshack on his way to an opening 65 at the Wyndham Championship

The Sedgefield Country Club specialist opened his account with a howler, but bounced back to end the first day inside the top 10.

Ten minutes into his first round at the Wyndham Championship Webb Simpson might have been forgiven for thinking that his spectacular run of form at the event was about to grind to a halt.

The winner of the event in 2011, he had finished second or third in each of his last four starts. It's safe to say that his affinity with the host venue, Sedgefield Country Club, is real.

But, after finding the first cut with his drive, it all went horribly wrong at the 419-yard par-4 first.

His approach didn't find the green, nor did his first second pitch shot, or, indeed, his second.

He eventually scratched a double bogey-6 on his card.

"You know what?" he later laughed. "I had a great warm up so that's the last start I had in mind.

"I just reminded myself walking to the second hole that there's 71 holes left and there's going to be plenty of birdie opportunities today. Just got to move on. It's hard to do that in that moment, but it was my only choice."

If you're going to make a bad start and hope to recover, it's probably going to be at a course where you've stitched together 16 straight scores in the 60s. In fact, Simpson averages 65.31 through the last four editions of this event.

And he might have doubted it making that walk from the first green, but he was about to improve on that mean score.

"I made a lot of putts," he said, when asked how he did it. "Making birdie on two was really key to kind of bouncing back. Another good putt on four. The putter was giving me me some momentum and wiping that sour taste out of my mouth."

When he reached the 15th green the horn blew to signal a suspension of play, with the threat of thunder and lightning high. Simpson swerved the Player's Lounge.

"I was in with the caddie, just listening to stories," he said. "If you want good stories, go to the caddies. It was all clean stuff, oh, yeah. We were talking about how good certain players are. We had a good time."

He was relieved to get back out onto the course where he drained two more birdie putts to complete a 5-under-par 65 which left him tied ninth on the leaderboard, three blows back of the early pace-setter Russell Henley.

The first round was incomplete when darkness fell with Adam Hadwin (6-under through 16) just about the only player threatening Henley's lead.

Simpson is enjoying this week's conditions, but is wary of the heavy rain forecast for the weekend.

"The course is fantastic," he said. "It's firm and it's fast. Just hope we don't get the rain. When this golf course does play fast, and this year I felt like we have a little more rough than normal, scores are still going to be really good, but they're not going to be crazy low.

"So we had balls in our group today that were just 120-yards out and we couldn't get them to the green. That's a good thing. If you drive it well, you'll have birdie opportunities."

Let's take a closer look at Simpson's Sedgefield record and also catch up with what the other leading contenders had to say.

Simpson at Sedgefield

When Simpson opens his account with a round in the 70s he is 0-for-3 at finishing top 10.

But when he cards a score in the 60s? He's 8-for-9 at ending the week in the top 10.

And what about scoring 65 or lower on Thursday? This was the fourth time that has happened and in all three previous instances he finished top five.

His second round average at the course is 66.33 and he's 9-for-12 at breaking 68.

Simpson when he wins

His seven career victories on the PGA Tour have no real pattern from his first round position (he's led, been on the leader's shoulder, been mid-pack and also off-the-pace).

But in each of his last four wins he made a real move in the second round, with three 63s and a 65 (he also carded a 65 in the second round when winning this tournament in 2011).

Leader Russell Henley on his mindset

"I want to make TOUR Championship and I want to win. I haven't won in years, so I feel like, as well as I've been playing, I've underachieved a little bit. So I'm just excited to compete and play. Maybe this week doesn't go that well the next three days, but my mindset is that I feel if I can play my game, play my normal game, then I can maybe give myself a chance."

Henley has held five first round leads on the PGA Tour before this week and is yet to convert the win. This is his fifth visit to the tournament and last year's tied ninth was his first top 30 finish.

Adam Scott (66) on his poor year and the heat

"It was important to get off to a good start today because that's the theme of the year: to go backwards on Thursday and then fight my way back. So to move in the right direction felt good. The course is great, but the heat is not. It's nice to tee off in the morning, you get about two hours where it's fairly pleasant, then by the 13th hole it's really leaning on you and wearing us down. The season hasn't gone how I wanted and I feel like I'm kind of playing with house money."

The bad news for the Aussie is that in each of his two previous visits he went backwards in every round after the first. In 2009 he was T11th after a 66 and missed the cut. Then in 2015 his end of round positions read: T35th-T42nd-T59th-T63rd.

But that more recent theme he mentioned is spot on: in five of his last seven starts he has scored better in round two than one. On the other hand, every single time he could hardly fail to because he'd needed at least 73 blows at the first time of asking.

READ MORE: Win or bust for Will Zalatoris at the Wyndham Championship

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