Rookie Streb leads South Georgia Classic in Rd. 1Brian Stuard sits one stroke behind leader Robert Streb after one round of the South Georgia Classic.April 26, 2012
Joe Chemycz, Nationwide Tour staff
VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Robert Streb admits even he was a little bit surprised by his 6-under 66 in the opening round of the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank & Trust. Streb, a 2009 Kansas State grad, holed a handful of birdie putts from 20 feet and beyond en route to the first-round lead at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
"I played pretty darned good today. It was the best ball-striking and putting combination I've had," said Streb, who hit 13 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. "I've been either hitting it good or putting it good. One or the other but I kind of had it all going today for the most part."
Though still early in his rookie season on the Nationwide Tour, Streb's all-around effort produced his lowest score to date and also gave him sole possession of the first-day lead.
Brian Stuard, Luke List and Monday qualifier Sihwan Kim share second place at 5-under 67. Kim, the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, was 5-under through 11 holes but stumbled with a bogey at No. 17 before recovering with a birdie at 18 to get back to 5 under.
Streb, 25, made his move thanks to his putting. He ran off five birdies in his first seven holes and canned birdie putts of 20, 35, 30 and 20 feet in the process.
"Every once in a while my putter gets hot. It's not a normal thing by any stretch," said Streb, who added a 35-footer late in the day to reach 6-under. "I had a couple of three-putts but other than that I made just about everything I looked at."
And when Streb took a look at the electronic leaderboards, which he has a tendency to do, he saw his name in some unfamiliar territory.
"I'd like not to worry about it but it's obviously one of those things you do worry about because you want to be leading," said Streb, whose previous best in five starts this year is a T17 at the Chile Classic in Santiago. "I always look out of curiosity. I try not to but I want to know. I was surprised by it but it was pretty nice."
First-Round Notes • Thurday's weather: Mostly sunny. Wind SW 10-16 mph. High of 88.
• Australia's Won Joon Lee withdrew during the round due to illness.
Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship Skip Kendall 70 Chile Classic Paul Haley II 73 Chitimacha Louisiana Open Casey Wittenberg 69 Soboba Golf Classic Andres Gonzales 73 TPC Stonebrae Champioship Alex Aragon 69
• Five of the six tournament winners in 2012 are entered this week. Only Panama Claro Championship winner Edward Loar is missing from Valdosta. Loar is competing at this week's PGA TOUR stop -- the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
• Streb's four consecutive birdies today tied the tournament record for the most birdies in a row. Hunter Haas had four straight (Nos. 10-13) in the second round in 2007.
• Andrew Svoboda made 18 pars in round one for a 72. Svoboda hit 10 of 18 greens in regulation and two-putted each of those. He managed to get up-and-down on the eight holes where he missed the green. Svoboda has been runner-up twice in his six starts this year and comes into the week No. 3 on the money list.
• Steve LeBrun opened his round with three straight 6s on his scorecard. He bogeyed the fourth hole and was 6-over par at that point. He turned the front in 6-over 42 but rallied with a 4-under 32 on the back for a total of 74.
• Players who were bogey-free in Round 1:
Round Front 9 (36) Back 9 (36) Total (72) Cumulative R1 36.419 36.903 73.323 --
• Scoring averages for the week:
• The Nationwide Tour will move to Athens next week for the Stadion Classic at UGA. The tournament will be held at the University of Georgia Golf Course April 30-May 6.