Garnett leads weather-delayed opening round in Bogota
February 09, 2017
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- February 09, 2017
- Brice Garnett adjusts his yardages by 10 percent for to account for elevation at Bogota CC. (Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
BOGOTA, Colombia – Brice Garnett carded a flawless 6-under-par 66 in the first round of the Club Colombia Championship by Servientrega to take a one-stroke lead over Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada alum Taylor Moore and PGA TOUR veteran Alex Prugh.
Due to the threat of lightning, the first round was suspended for the day at 4:17 p.m. local time. The plan is to resume play on Friday morning at 7 a.m.
Garnett began the day on the back nine and birdied holes 10, 12, 17 and 18, going out in 32.
“I got off to a quick start,” said Garnett. “I felt like I made a lot of conservative-aggressive swings out there today. I picked some conservative targets and just tried to hit my number.”
Bogota sits 8,675 feet above sea level, which meant Garnett accounted for roughly a 10 percent increase in distance when choosing a club on Thursday. When he missed a green, Garnett successfully got up and down, thus recording his lowest round in nine trips around Country Club de Bogota.
“This entire golf course is about being on the right side of the cup,” said Garnett, who is making his fourth start at this event this week. “If you get on the wrong side, it runs away from you and your severely short-sided on some holes.”
The Web.com Tour had a few weeks off between events and Garnett spent his time working on his wedge game. In his first two starts of the season, Garnett missed both cuts and failed to break par in four rounds.
“I didn’t chip and putt very good in the Bahamas,” said Garnett. “It was good to see the scoring game come around today. This is a great start to the week.”
Garnett played the PGA TOUR full time last season, recorded two top-10s in 15 starts and finished No. 177 in the FedExCup standings. The Missouri Western State product has been working hard on his ball striking with his teacher, John Tillery, with hopes of earning his way back to the TOUR this year.
“The ultimate goal is to get back to the PGA TOUR,” said Garnett, who has played the TOUR full time the past three years. “I felt like my game has been really good the last year, I just haven’t gotten much out of it.”
Garnett has focused on scoring and trying to make more birdies by putting himself in the correct positon off the tee. On Thursday, he birdied all three par 5s including hitting driver, 8-iron into the par-5 finishing hole to make the turn at 4-under-par.
“It’s remarkably better now than what it was two years ago,” said Garnett, about his ability to shoot low scores. “I’m excited for the year and hoping for a big year. We’ll see what happens this week.”
Moore birdied his first hole of the day, but the highlight of his first round came at the par-4 fourth hole, which measures 355 yards. After hitting his tee shot onto the green, the 23-year-old from San Angelo, Texas rolled in a lengthy putt for an eagle two to jump-start his round.
“It was a perfect number to the front edge,” said Moore, who had an eagle-birdie-birdie three-hole stretch on his second nine. “I went ahead and ripped it, hit a good shot like we wanted, had a 20-footer for eagle and made it.”
* Thursday weather: Low: 52, High: 73, Winds: 5-10 E/S with scattered showers and thunderstorms. The first round was suspended at 4:17 pm local time due to the threat of lightning. First-round play will resume at 7 a.m. on Friday.
* This week’s purse is $700,000, with $126,00 going to the winner.
* Brice Garnett is making his fourth appearance in the Club Colombia Championship. His best performance was a T61 in 2012.
* Garnett’s 65 on Thursday morning was his lowest first-round score on Tour since the 2013 Albertsons Boise Open, where he finished T17.
* In 83 starts on Tour, Garnett has posted 10 top-10s including two runner-up performances (2011 – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, 2013 – Chile Classic).
* Last season, Taylor Moore competed in 11 events on Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and posted five top 10s including a win at the Staal Foundation Open. He ended the year No. 3 on the Order of Merit, securing his Web.com Tour card for 2017. In the Qualifying Tournament last December, Moore recorded a runner-up showing to improve his status for this season.
* In two starts, Moore posted a tie for 17th at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic and missed the cut at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
* For the second consecutive year, Alex Prugh opened the tournament with a 5-under 66. Last year, Prugh carded a first-round 66 on his way to a T30. This week marks Prugh’s fourth appearance in Bogota. His scoring average through 11 rounds at Country Club de Bogota.
* Andrew Landry, who won The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club, carded a bogey-free 68 in the first round and is three shots behind Garnett.
* Hardest/Easiest Hole
Hardest – Par-4 second (4.485)
Easiest – Par-5 10th (4.676)
* Bogey-free rounds:
R1 – Brice Garnett (65), Andrew Landry (68)