KORN FERRY TOUR FINALS
Hickok ties Canterbury GC record, leads DAP Championship
August 30, 2018
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- August 30, 2018
- University of Texas alum Kramer Hickok opened in 7-under 63 at Canterbury GC. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
BEACHWOOD, Ohio – In the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals, Kramer Hickok shot a 7-under 63 in the opening round and tied the course record at the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick. Hickok holds a one-shot lead heading into the second round.
Hickok recorded eight birdies with a lone bogey en route to his 7-under 63. The 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year had a good look at birdie on the par-4 18th to set the new course record but couldn’t get the 15-foot putt to drop on the last. His par would be good enough to tie the mark with Bobby Wyatt, who also shot a 63 in the first round of this event in 2016.
“I had no idea,” commented Hickok on his putt for the course record on the 18th hole. “I really wanted it to drop. I actually misread it a little bit. I hit my line perfectly, but it went a little right on me. It would’ve been cool to set the record, but I’ll take 63.”
Canterbury Golf Club was the site of Jack Nicklaus’ 12th major in the 1973 PGA Championship. Nicklaus’ best competitive round at Canterbury Golf Club was a 68, which was recorded in the second and third round of the 1973 PGA Championship and in the third round of the 1996 U.S. Senior Open. In a course filled with history and tradition, Hickok was proud to place his name in the history books along with the legends of golf.
“Those guys are my heroes,” said the Austin, Texas native. “They’re the ones I grew up watching. Tiger, Jack, Arnold and the list goes on and on. Those are the names that I want to see my name next to one day. That’s why I play this game. It shows that all my hard work is starting to pay off, but there’s a long way to go and I’m just going to keep my head down and keep focusing on what I’m doing and see what happens.”
Hickok had a stellar 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season, where he recorded two victories and three runner-up finishes. He ultimately earned the Order of Merit title and gained fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour the following year.
The 26-year-old carried over his great play to the Web.com Tour, where he has recorded four top-10 finishes, including a runner-up at the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS in his rookie season. The University of Texas product finished No. 23 on the Regular Season money list and will join college teammate Jordan Spieth on the PGA TOUR.
“The difference between Portland and these last two weeks has been huge, because now I feel like I have nothing to lose,” Hickok said. “I can go miss every cut and be in the same position as where I started. The only way is up for me right now and anytime you can play golf stress-free, you’re going to play your best. Hopefully I can continue to do that the next three days.”
After a T14 finish at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the first Finals event, Hickok jumped 10 spots to No. 13 on the combined money list.
Justin Hueber sits one shot back of Hickok, as he carded a bogey-free 6-under 64. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and needed 28 putts in his opening round. The University of Indianapolis alum also had a chance to tie the course record, with a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th, but failed to convert and came one stroke shy of tying the course record.
“I did a really good job of hitting greens today,” said Hueber, who only missed two greens in regulation. “My caddie kept me in it. I just wanted to give myself opportunities. I kept myself below the hole and gave myself a lot of looks.”
The two-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner had two top-10 finishes this Regular Season, including a T3 at the Savannah Golf Championship. The 30-year-old finished the Regular Season No. 42 on the money list and is looking to secure his card for the 2018-19 season through The Finals 25 after the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship.
“It’s a fresh start, it’s kind of nice,” Hueber commented. “I didn’t play the last five events very well and it kind of feels like a new season where anything goes. You have four chances to play well as opposed to the end of the Regular Season when I needed to play well.”
The Jacksonville, Florida resident finished T72 at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and entered the week No. 72 on The Finals money list.
Defending champion Nicholas Lindheim shot a 3-under 67 in the first round and sits four shots back of leader Hickok entering the second round. He defeated Chesson Hadley and Rob Oppenheim in a playoff last year and ultimately earned a spot in The Finals 25. The two-time Web.com Tour winner finished No. 146 in the FedExCup standings in the 2017-18 TOUR season and failed to retain fully exempt status for the following year.
“I don’t really take anything for granted,” Lindheim said. “You still have to go out and play. It’s a tough golf course and everybody knows that. I’ve had success here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a given.”
Kramer Hickok leads with 63 at DAP Championship