Taylor Moore, Peter Kuest Lead Rocket Mortgage Classic; Dylan Wu 1 Back After Albatross

DETROIT (AP) — Peter Kuest believes there’s always time to go fishing.

Just not this week. He’s a little busy.

Kuest, a Monday qualifier ranked 789th in the world, and Taylor Moore shot 8-under 64s to share the first-round lead in the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday.

What would the 25-year-old Kuest be doing if he didn’t earn a spot in the field?

“Probably fishing back in Utah,” he said.

The former BYU player, who turned pro in 2020, is playing in his 10th career PGA Tour event and for the third time this season as a qualifier.

Kuest has limited status on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he hasn’t played this year while he bets on himself that he can compete with the world’s best.

Between missing the cut at the Texas Open in April and finishing tied for 57th at the Canadian Open earlier this month, he closed with a 63 at the Byron Nelson in May to tie for 14th.

“It solidifies that I can play out here,” Kuest said.

The 29-year-old Moore, who has an 18-hole lead for the first time on the PGA Tour, made eight birdies in his bogey-free round. He won the Valspar Championship in March, outlasting Jordan Spieth.

Moore missed the cut in his last three tournaments after finishing tied for 72nd at the PGA Championship.

“With the current state of my game, I’ve kind of been stuck in neutral,” he said. “So, this has been really good for me to see.”

Dylan Wu had the third albatross on the PGA Tour this season and shot 65, joining Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai, Ludvig Aberg, Sam Bennett, Justin Suh and Adam Schenk a stroke off the lead.

Collin Morikawa was among those two shots back while Rickie Fowler was three off the lead at Detroit Golf Club.

While many took full advantage of favorable conditions on a relatively easy course, some notable names were nowhere near the top of the leaderboard.

Max Homa, the only player in the field ranked in the top 10 in the world, shot a 3-under 69. Sungjae Im was one stroke better.

Defending champion Tony Finau, who won last year at 26 under, shot 72.

Major champions Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas are in danger of missing the cut.

Matsuyama had a 75 and Thomas was one shot worse after making a double bogey and five bogeys. At No. 66 in the FedEx Cup standings, Thomas, who won his second PGA Championship last year, is in danger of missing a postseason that will include the top 70 players.

Thomas, out of the top 10 in the world for the first time in nearly six years, missed the cut in two of his previous three tournaments.

Wu had the shot of the day, one that was witnessed by only the fans fortunate enough to be there.

“We were walking up to the green, I’m like, ‘I’m pretty sure the camera’s not on,’” Wu said.

He holed a hybrid from 262 yards on the 570-yard, par-5 14th hole for a 2, moving from 1 under to 4 under on a single hole. He didn’t see the ball go in due to smoky air from Canada’s wildfires that have given Detroit some of the worst air quality in the U.S.

“I hit it perfect I thought, but I kind of lost it halfway because of the haze and the grandstand and everything,” Wu said. “So I looked at my caddie and I’m like, ‘Where’d that go?’ And he said, ‘It’s going pretty close to the pin.’ And then I didn’t see it land and then like a couple seconds later the crowd went wild.

“It was pretty surreal.”