By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
At No. 122 on the money list,
Steve Flesch knows he has work to do to be fully exempt on the PGA
TOUR next season. He also knows that dozens of golfers will be
chasing him for his spot inside the top 125. Flesch opened with a
6-under 65 at TPC Summerlin that has him one shot off the Justin
Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open lead. His round
featured eight birdies against two bogeys, and was one shot shy of
his best showing at TPC Summerlin since 2004.
“If you don't get off to a good start here, you feel
like you're just trying to play catch up the whole week,” he
said. “My mindset is I've got nothing to lose the last few
weeks, so I'm going to play all four (Fall Series events), see what
happens. I'm going to play aggressively. That's how you have to
play in Vegas.” Flesch’s aggressive play paid off
Thursday. He birdied five of his first 10 holes at TPC Summerlin
and hit 83 percent of his greens in regulation despite missing five
fairways. Flesch had been hitting 59 percent of his greens up to
this point in the season. “If you do hit it in the rough you
have to think about what you're doing,” Flesch said.
“And a couple of guys in our group did not have pitch-out
lies but they had lies where they could not get to the green from
about 160 yards. It's sketchy in spots but you still have to drive
it in the fairway.” The four-time PGA TOUR winner is in
search of his first victory since the 2007 Turning Stone Resort
Championship -- the first event in the history of the Fall Series.
His best finish since that victory was a tie for third at this
year’s Reno-Tahoe Open.