What they said: Field swaps tale of first round fierce wind at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship

Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey hold the first round lead at Port Royal, but Patrick Reed got off to a strong start and is just three blows back.

There was only one delay on Thursday at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship - and that was only five minutes in length - but no-one was in any doubt what the key factor was in the first round.

"As we started the wind was brutal," said Matt Fitzpatrick after he completed a level-par round of 71 in the morning wave.

"You see wind like this, but normally you don't play in it. This was the hardest wind I've ever played in.

"I absolutely ripped a drive on the seventh. People are going to laugh at this because they probably think it's my normal tee shot, but anyway, I ripped it and it went 245 yards."

Scotsman Russell Knox, who has landed a top 20 in both of the first two editions of the tournament, battled for a 1-over 72 and then added his own tales of fighting the gales.

"Was that windy?!" he gasped. "At the ninth we were on the front edge of the green there and I've never experienced wind that strong on a golf course.

"I mean, we were down on the ground holding an umbrella. My fingers were cramping I was holding on so tight and it was pouring rain as hard as it's ever rained. It was an interesting day."

The afternoon starters got it a little easier and the round one action wasn't completed due to the delay and the wind prompting slow play from the field.

But Brandon Hagy and Chad Ramey lead after posting excellent 6-under 65s, Vincent Whaley is alone in third after a 66, and six men (including winners this year Garrick Higgo and Danny Lee) share fourth after carding 67s.

Of the pre-tournament favourites Patrick Reed fared best with a 68 for T10th, with Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Matt Fitzpatrick both carding level-par 71s.

Let's take a look at what the leading contenders had to say.

FAIRWAY TO GO - If your player is leading at the end of any round, PlanetSportBet will refund 50% of your stake as a free bet up to £100 if they fail to win the tournament.

Brandon Hagy - co-leader on 6-under

"It was playing difficult. My mindset was just trying to hit solid balls and stay down and try and stay composed on the greens and just keep my head down, try to keep a solid strike on it. You know you're going to get some gusts, some situations where you're going to miss it. Like on my seventh hole there I had like a two-and-a-half-footer and got gusted as I'm putting it. That stuff is going to happen. You're just going to have to decide before the round that everyone's dealing with it and try the best you can."

Chad Ramey - co-leader on 6-under

"I mean, it was a really well-played round kind of all around on my part. It was a grind out there. I think the wind might have been blowing a little harder this morning, but it was still going really hard this afternoon. I was just doing the best I could do to keep the ball in position.

"I feel pretty comfortable (in my rookie year on the PGA Tour). There's 25 to 50 other guys that I played with that are out here every week. I feel pretty comfortable. It's just new courses really. You know, the golf's the same, it's just I kind of have to play a little more just to learn the new courses."

Seamus Power - tied fourth on 4-under

"We definitely got the easier part of the day there in the afternoon, but it's still a strong enough wind that your score could get away from you if you lost control of your ball. So, yeah, overall very pleased and hanging in there was the thing today. On some spots on the course it was really blowing, but the greens were much better than I thought. I thought it was going to be very difficult to putt with the strength of the winds."

Patrick Reed - tied tenth on 3-under

"It was interesting. I mean, in Texas we don't have that many drop-offs. Those tee boxes, for example like 12 where you're hitting 210 to the flag but it plays downhill 15 yards and it's straight into the wind, we don't have as much of that, but we definitely have wind and this is a lot of wind. But it's fun. It's one of those golf courses that if they didn't have wind around here, you'd go out and you'd destroy it. So I almost feel like they need the wind here to be kind of a defence mechanism for the golf course, for the tournament."

Danny Lee - tied fourth on 4-under

"4-under out there with this tough wind conditions was a good score. I'm really happy where I'm at. I haven't putted well in a while. I worked really hard on my putting last month and I think it's starting to show some good signs. I just pulled out at the John Deere Classic this year, I just couldn't play any more. I finally took an x-ray with a doctor and he saw a fracture on my last right rib, so I guess I had that for a while, I just didn't know about it. I had to take a couple months off and I'm injury-free now. 100 % now."

Lee's reveal about his injury and positive vibes about his putting make for interesting reading. Both previous winners at Port Royal had victories at El Camaleon in Mexico and, while Lee is not on the honours board alongside them, he does have a very fine record there. He was third in 2014, second in 2018 and spent 54 holes in the top 10 in 2019.

He is 25/1 to win with PlanetSportBet.

READ MORE: Betting preview: Riled up Rangers looking to cut down Forest

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