"This is the one week, his week. He might as well be in here," Palmer said in a post-round interview following a 5-under 65 that has him in a tie for sixth.
When the 36-year-old Colleyville resident asks his caddie for a distance, all he gets is a club.
"I found myself looking at the yardage a little more, but he wouldn’t give it to me. He would say 'hit this 8-iron' and I was like 'how far is it?' It’s kind of strange."
The first time Palmer let Edmondson do the steering at the 2011 Nelson, Palmer made it to a playoff. His Nelson track record prior to that was not impressive.
"I’ve been able to keep that feeling the last couple of years," Palmer said. "I think I’ve shot 65 Thursday every year, or 64 maybe."
It has been an emotional week for Palmer since learning of the death of lifelong friend Clay Aderholt, who was killed in a traffic accident in the San Antonio area seven days ago.
Palmer wore a cap with his friend's initials on Sunday when he finished fifth at The Players Championship. Palmer said he signed that cap and gave it to Reid, his friend’s 4-year-old son and gave a black one to Clay’s dad.
"Maybe we can honor him even more on Sunday afternoon," Palmer said.
Young guns: Jordan Spieth, 19, who made headlines in this event as an amateur, opened with a five-birdie, four-bogey 69 in his first Nelson round as a professional. The only amateur in the event this year, 14-year-old Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang, opened with an even par 70.
"He loves to mess with me," Bradley said of Dufner.
Before the two Ryder Cup teammates played together Thursday, Bradley found his clubs scattered about in the locker room.
"I left my clubs, which is a huge mistake," Bradley said. "It was my fault. He took my clubs out and they were all over."
Bradley, who fired a 10-under 60 on Thursday, said he is a little reluctant to retaliate.
"I’m too scared to do anything too much because I don’t know what he will do," Bradley said. "He could throw my clubs in the water or something. I did remove something from this locker and he’s going to need it. We’ll see if he can find it."
Bradley and Dufner, joined by Matt Kuchar, draw a 12:20 tee time for Friday’s second round.
International flavor: Of Thursday’s 52 pairings of threesomes, only one was composed entirely of internationals.
South African Schwartzel, playing in his first Nelson, led the group with a 7-under 63, two strokes better than Argentina’s Cabrera. Kaymer, a German, shot 2-under.
No delay: Following thunderstorms that drenched the course, workers at TPC Four Seasons were at it early before Round 1, sacking over 100 bags of debris that washed up from a creek that cuts through the course. Most of the debris was on holes 9, 11 and 14. Play began on time at 7 a.m.