Hampshire's record 60 leads BMW Charity Pro-AmMay 19, 2011
Joe Chemycz, Nationwide Tour Staff
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Travis Hampshire posted a record-breaking 12-under-par 60 and left little doubt about who is in charge after the opening 18 holes of the BMW Charity Pro-Am, a tournament that also features amateurs and celebrities in a better-ball format that is spread over three courses in two states with varying par values.
Hampshire, who turned 30 two weeks ago, blistered The Carolina Country Club with 10 birdies and an eagle to take a five-stroke lead over seven other players. Stephen Gangluff, Greg Owen and Darron Stiles all posted 7-under 65s on the same par-72 course that Hampshire tore apart. Garth Mulroy and Woody Austin cared 7-under 65s at the par-72 Bright's Creek Golf Club in Mill Spring, N.C. Meantime, Brendon Todd and Will MacKenzie each registered 7-under 64s at Thornblade Club, the host course in the three-course rotation.
Sometimes it's difficult to figure out who's really leading until all of the 168 professionals have had a chance to play each of the courses, which form a triangle around the Greenville area and are separated by 30-60 minute drives. Hampshire, a rookie on the Nationwide Tour this year, established himself as the man to beat. He missed only one green during his round and needed just 24 putts to match the lowest opening-round score in Tour history.
"I had a really good warm-up session this morning and you know that this is the kind of course you've got to take advantage of, it's got the softest greens of the three courses," said Hampshire, who has missed the cut in his last three starts. "You knew you had to shoot a good round here to get off to a good start."
Hampshire started fast with a four-foot birdie putt on the first hole and added three in a row twice by the time he reached the 12th tee. He added an eagle and his eighth birdie at No. 15 before closing with back-to-back birdies. He stood in the fairway at No. 18, with a chance for 59 if he holed his second shot from 125 yards.
"You know exactly where you stand. I told myself 'you're hitting it good, you're putting good, just give yourself a chance," said Hampshire, who has posted below-par scores in only six of his 14 rounds this year. "I knew the yardage and the club (9-iron) weren't a perfect match so I picked a target a little more to the right than I normally would have."
The 2003 Purdue University grad nudged his 25-footer into the cup for his 10th birdie of the day.
"It was a quick putt so I wanted to lag it down there, make four and have a good round," he said. "I thought I might have hit it a little hard at first. It was just a bonus that it went in. I've shot a couple of 61s but this one is pretty gratifying."
• Hampshire has made only two cuts in six starts on the 2011 Nationwide Tour and is No. 64 on the money list after the first six weeks of the season. He has missed the cut in his last three starts and is a combined 16-over par in his last six rounds. His scoring average for his previous six rounds is 73.66.
• Hampshire, making only his eighth career start and his seventh this year, set or tied several Nationwide Tour and BMW Charity Pro-Am records today as well as establishing some season-bests:
• His 60 today tied the lowest opening-round score in Nationwide Tour history. Hampshire becomes the 6thplayer to post a 60 on day one of a tournament. Of the previous five, listed below, only Chris Nallen went on to victory during the week:
Round 1 (60)
Jimmy Green, Raleigh CC, Raleigh, NC, 1998 Carolina Classic (11-under par); Chris Nallen, Whirlwind GC (Cattail), Chandler, AZ, 2004 Gila River Golf Classic (12-under par); 60, Brenden Pappas, Le Triomphe CC, Broussard, LA, 2007 Chitimacha Louisiana Open (11-under par); Chris Thompson, Champions Run, Omaha, NE, 2007 Cox Classic (11-under par); Michael Letzig, Barona Creek GC, Lakeside, CA, 2007 Nationwide Tour Championship at Barona Creek (11-under par); Travis Hampshire, The Carolina Country Club, Spartanburg, SC, 2011 BMW Charity Pro-Am:
-- His five-stroke lead after the opening round matches the second-largest in Nationwide Tour history and is the biggest on Tour since David LeBeck led by five after the first day at the 2001 Louisiana Open. The largest first-round lead in Tour history is six strokes by Ron Philo at the 1994 Pensacola Open. Strangely, neither LeBeck nor Philo went on to win those events. LeBeck shot a 61 on day one and added rounds of 69-73-72 to wind up T10. Philo posted a 62 on the first day and then added 70-69-71 and finished second, one stroke back of winner Bruce Vaughan.
-- His 60 today broke the course record at The Carolina Country Club by two strokes. Scott Parel set the mark with a 62 in the first round in 2009 (his 40th birthday) and Clemson's Tommy Biershenk matched that with a 62 in the third round last year.
-- His 60 today is the lowest opening-round score in tournament history, bettering the 9-under 62 Michael Clark II posted at the Thornblade Club in 2009.
-- His 60 today betters his career low round on Tour, topping a pair of 67s he posted earlier this year.
Date Tournament Pos 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total Score Scoring Avg Official Money Money Rank 2/27/2011 Panama CLARO Championship CUT 75 67 142 (2) 3/6/2011 Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open Presented by Samsung T13 71 67 138 (-4) $10,600.00 30 3/27/2011 Chitimacha Louisiana Open T20 74 68 68 68 278 (-6) $6,060.00 30 4/17/2011 Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae CUT 69 77 146 (6) 45 5/1/2011 South Georgia Classic Pres'd by First State Bank and Trust Company CUT 72 78 150 (6) 57 5/8/2011 Stadion Classic at UGA CUT 71 75 146 (4) 64
-- His round of 60 is the lowest 18-hole score on the Nationwide Tour this year. John Kimbell's 10-under 61 in the fourth round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open was the previous best this season.
-- His 7-under 29 on the back nine matches the lowest 9-hole score on Tour this year, though three players who shot 29s (Erik Compton, Ryan Armour and John Kimbell) were all 6-under for their respective 9-hole scores.
-- His 60 today is the lowest opening-round 18-hole score on Tour this year, topping a quartet of 6-under 64s.
-- His five-stroke lead is the largest after 18 holes, topping Mathew Goggin's 2-stroke lead after the first round of the South Georgia Classic.
• MacKenzie had it to 9-under par following back-to-back eagles at Nos. 15 and 16 at Thornblade Club today but then closed with consecutive bogeys to finish at 7-under par. MacKenzie eagled the par-5s with putts of 15 feet and 40 respectively. He is the first player in tournament history to register back-to-back eagles.
• Will MacKenzie is the first player to register back-to-back eagles on the Nationwide Tour this year. There were five players who made consecutive eagles on Tour last year.
• The leading teams in the Pro-Am portion of the event are the teams of Travis Hampshire/John Konsek and Darron Stiles/Marshall Mizell -- they share the lead with 14-under par scores. Three teams at 12-under are tied for third.