2008 US Champ Nate Doss took early control of the USDGC leaderboard during Wednesday’s Round 1 after his blistering 56 (-11), while defending US Champ Will Schusterick skidded hard concluding his round and finished with a 69 (+2).
Wednesday's pleasant weather was a far cry from conditions in the days leading up to the event. Others near the top include: Nate Sexton and USDGC rookie Eagle McMahon, who both shot 59 (-8); and Michael Johansen 61 (-6).
With his 62 (-5), four-time World Champ and Grand Slam chaser Paul McBeth finds himself among the pack along with Richard Wysocki, 5-time US Champ Ken Climo, James Proctor, and others.
Doss was definitely enjoying his USDGC kick off after turning in his 56 (-11), which included only one bogey on Hole 17 when he laid up off the tee, then tossed into the island, but missed his putt.
“I came into the tournament basically saying if I could shoot in the 50’s I thought that would be amazing. And when I just did my scorecard I wrote down 56 - I was really a little bit surprised,” said Doss.
Schusterick certainly didn’t have the start he wanted to defend his US Title. After being three under through 12 holes, he got bogeys on holes 13 and 14, and then scored a triple bogey and a double bogey on holes 17 and 18 respectively.
When asked what his thoughts were after the round, he replied: “Just a lot of mistakes, way too many. I think it’s probably my worst round in the last five years at this tournament.”
Jeremy Koling said the day’s first tee time slot treated him mostly well, finishing with 63 (-4). He started off six under on the front nine, but then lost some of those birdies down the stretch. With his best USDGC finish in the 20’s, Koling’s goal is to make the lead card so he’s dialed down his aggressive strategy of the past.
“I was looking at this more: ‘How can I keep it more in the ropes, especially on the holes with stroke and distance’ (Holes 9, 10, 12, 17, and parts of 13)”, Koling concludes.
The 5-time USDGC Champion Ken Climo is also in pace of the lead with his 62 (-5) for the day. "I'll come out a little more aggressive tomorrow. I played a little tentative today and will be aggressive tomorrow and hit my lines exact.", says the 12-time MPO World Champion.
Patrick Brown, who finished 4th last year, said he felt pretty good about his performance 64 (-3) despite difficulty warming up. He was also pleased the course fared well during last week’s storms.
“I’m very grateful that the course didn’t get destroyed from all of the flooding that happened south of us,” said Brown.
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Ace Alert: Henrik Johansen started off the day right with an ace on Hole 1.